Industry Europe – Issue 23.10

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VOLUME 23/10 – 2013 • €6

The world of European manufacturing






France fights fracking Sand is combined with water to create fissures in gas bearing shale. The French seem to prefer to bury their heads in it.


hat is it with the French and fracking? This October the French constitutional council rejected a challenge by a US energy explorer to the July 2011 law banning hydraulic fracturing in France. Environment and Ecology Minister Philippe Martin welcomed the ruling, saying that it had effectively made the fracking ban ‘absolute’ and that it was not only a judicial victory but also an ecological and political victory. By ‘political’ he meant, no doubt, that it had avoided any trouble with the Green party, whose participation in the government is important to the Socialists. And, of course, François Hollande himself had declared as soon as he was elected, “As long as I am president there will be no shale gas exploration.” It’s odd because the French are the last people you would think of as technophobes. The English may have been suspicious about technology – or, indeed, change of any kind – ever since the former MP for Liverpool William Huskisson got himself run over by Stephenson’s Rocket in 1830, but the French have always seemed passionate about progress. No-one in France ever used to kick up a fuss if a new airport or a TGV track was to be built on their doorstep, and we’ve all heard the stories of remote villages putting out the flags to welcome the building of a nuclear power plant just behind the cow sheds. In England, of course, the barricades go up on the village green at the mere rumour of a new Tesco. Indeed Industry Europe itself has never forgotten being shown round the new Jean Merieux P4 Laboratory in Lyon, mercifully just before it became operational in 1999. A P4 (Pathogen or Protection level 4) is a facility that is rated at the highest level of biosafety for work on the most dangerous pathogenic agents in the world – organisms such as the Ebola, Marburg and Lassa viruses against

which no medical treatment is available. In the UK it is hard to imagine such a facility being tolerated in the middle of Dartmoor but the French had chosen to build one right in the middle of their second largest city and no-one, it seems, had batted an eyelid. So what’s the problem with fracking, which even Al Gore can’t think is as bad for your health as a killer virus? It’s not that it wouldn’t be worthwhile. According to a report by the US Energy Information Administration, Europe’s potential shale gas resources are almost as large as those of the US and 60 per cent of technically recoverable resources lie in Poland and France. Of course, technical recoverability does not equal economic recoverability. Initial data from France and Poland suggest that drilling costs may be up to three times higher than in the US. But, as a new report from the Paris-based Robert Schuman Foundation points out, the other key factor in economic recoverability – prices – is even more favourable in Europe than in the US. Gas prices on the spot market are currently three times those in the US; Europe pays €9–12/MMBTU against around $3/MMBTU in America. The Schuman report is unequivocal in identifying the benefits to the climate, the economy and energy security that the shale gas revolution has brought to the US. Since low priced gas has partly replaced oil and coal in the power, transport and housing sectors, the US has achieved its lowest level of CO2 emissions for 20 years. It has reduced its industrial production costs and improved its competitiveness, and it is estimated that the use of unconventional hydrocarbons has led to the creation of 1.7 million jobs up to 2012, with that figure due to double by 2035. The contribution to public revenues totalled $62 billion in 2012 and is due to reach $2500 billion in 2035. As for energy security, the US may well replace Russia as the world’s biggest gas

producer by 2015 and oil producer by 2017. And, of course, the declining dependence of America on supplies from the Middle East may turn into a geo-political revolution.

Strategic priorities The message certainly seems to have got through in Poland where support for shale gas is part of a national strategy to reduce the country’s dependence on Russian gas (90 per cent of imports) and on coal (90 per cent of electricity production). But France’s energy security position is different. Its 59 nuclear power plants produce 75 per cent of its electricity at reasonably low prices and with low CO2 emissions. So it’s probable that the former Sarkozy government thought that it wasn’t worth upsetting people by letting American companies drill holes all over the Paris basin. But the ground is shifting. Electricity from the next generation of nuclear power plants is going to be much more expensive, as the costs of the new Flamanville 3 and the UK’s Hinkley Point are making clear. And, in any case, Hollande has already pledged to reduce nuclear power supply to 50 per cent of France’s electricity by 2025 and increase the share of renewables. And a recent poll suggests, astonishingly, that 83 per cent of people in France now oppose the building of new reactors. Of course, most French business leaders are fed up with this refusal to take advantage of the vast resources of cheap energy beneath their feet. But the public hostility to Gaz de Schiste shows no sign of abating. The tendentious American film Gasland is said to have shocked many in France; maybe they worry that if the stuff can get into your water tap (which it can’t, actually), it might even get into the nation’s cheeses. That would indeed be the end of civilisation n as we know it. Industry Europe 3

CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

Production Manager Kamila Kajtoch

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Administration Anna Chamberlain Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey

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

Art Administration Tania Balderson Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo Helen Leisi Mac McCarthy Anthony McClintock Ben Snowing Anna Dudek Stephen Moore Martin Gisborne Victoria Pease

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

1 4 5

Opinion France fights fracking Bill Jamieson

Recession of 2014?

Silver lining for UK exporters in the euro gloom

James Srodes Are you ready for the American

Energy Industry 6 9 12

Should Europe cap energy prices? Who finally pays? Energy news The latest from the industry Harnessing the power of hydrogen Fuel cell for

London development

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 23

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

© Industry Europe 2013 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

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4 Industry Europe


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

Aerospace 24 28

Tier-1 aerospace supplier FACC Cutting-edge aerospace technology Asco

Automotive 33 36 40 44 49 52

Masters of complex extrusion technology Martinrea Honsel

Working at the high end of the market Marzocchi Pompe

Industrial gas springs Stromsholmen On the road HYMER Creative engagement Stadco Driven by electronic innovation Meta System

Building & Construction 56 60 64 68 72 76 81 84

The true all-rounder of construction specialists Lindner

HACVR and energy plant, engineering and contracting Cefla Plant Group Opening the door to optimal energy efficiency Nassau Door

Clever design Reynaers Building a sustainable future Skanska Building growth through investment Limak Group Indoor air solutions Swegon A sunny horizon Coiver Contract

VOL 23/10

Consumer Goods Above: Mispol p134

88 91 94 98

Unlocking potential Aza Stenman Industries Winning the races Elan Geared up for growth Gazelle The latest in power robotics Honda

Electrical & Electronic 102 106 111

Driving in the right direction Nord Motoriduttori Promoting energy efficiency Končar Transforming perceptions of power generation in Europe Electroputere


Above: FACC p24 Below: HYMER p44

114 118 124

Specialists in offshore and onshore equipment Protea

Going offshore Remazel Engineering The power to succeed under pressure Vulcan

Food & Drink

Above: Elan p91 Below: Honda p98

127 Peklimar – A renowned and trusted brand Peklimar 130 Dairy expert Lacpol Group 134 Excellence in private label products Mispol

Forest Products

138 The future power of pulp Sodra


145 Revolutionising ballast water treatment DESMI Ocean Guard


148 Precision powder metal parts GKN Sinter Metals 152 Growing in world markets Gruppo Plocco Steel

Plastics Below: Reynaers p68

156 Niche market success Advansa 160 Integrated single-source cable solutions Murrplastik

Above: EPTA Group p164 Below: Waberer’s Holding p188


164 Global refrigeration specialist EPTA Group

Textiles 168 172 176

Sustainability in high performance fibre-based materials Ahlstrom Textiles from Hungary Coats Hungary Leading the way in hygienic disposables Ontex

Transport & Logistics

188 Continuous expansion for logistics Waberer’s Holding

Also in this issue...

192 Advanced glass melting and conditioning technologies Fives Stein Industry Europe 5




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Silver lining for UK exporters in the euro gloom The ECB’s rate cut at least recognises that the recovery needs help.


there really such a thing as a eurozone surprise? So many extraordinary events have unfolded over the past five years that it would be difficult to describe any development in Europe as ‘untoward’. So it was strange that so many commentators greeted the recent interest rate cut by the European Central Bank from 0.75 per cent to 0.25 per cent as unexpected. In truth, it could hardly have been so given the latest economic forecast downgrade issued just days previously by the European Commission. It warned that while it still expected the eurozone would return to growth in 2014 after two years of recession, the recovery would be at a slower pace than previously forecast. It now reckons the eurozone economy will grow by just 1.2 per cent next year. This follows a further contraction of 0.4 per cent in 2013 and is the second downward revision since the start of the year. This is another setback for the euro area and a further blow to its pretensions to be a competitive and successful global economic leader. Olli Rehn, the EC’s economics commissioner, sought to put a vainglorious spin on events: “There are increasing signs that the European economy has reached a turning point,” he began. “But it is too early to declare victory: Unemployment remains at unacceptably high levels. That’s why we must continue to modernise the European economy.” Such statements continue to make light of the reality that weighs heavily on the eurozone economies. A combination of austerity policies dictated by the need to bring down budget deficits, unemployment in double percentage figures, deadweight sovereign debt and, to cap all this, a rising euro has led the eurozone to the brink of a deflationary trap. Inflation declined to 0.7 per cent in October, well below the ECB’s two per cent target, racking up the pressure to stave off the threat of growth-stunting deflation. Two destructive forces deny the eurozone 6 Industry Europe

a job-creating recovery: a chronic lack of competitiveness that continues to cripple the peripheral economies, and the intolerable burden of public debt. It is these two in combination – brought on by years of votebribing politics, reality avoidance and statistical fiddling – that lie at the heart of the single currency zone’s continuing problems and its inability to mount a sustainable recovery.

Which way the euro? One immediate consequence of the interest rate cut was a drop in the value of the euro. The jury is out on whether this will be followed by a prolonged downward drift or whether inflation-hawk Germany will tighten the monetary screws by other means. For

“There are increasing signs that the European economy has reached a turning point. But it is too early to declare victory: Unemployment remains at unacceptably high levels. That’s why we must continue to modernise the European economy.” the moment it is hardly comforting news for UK exporters struggling to gain traction as the UK’s domestic economy has strengthened. With total exports edging up just 0.1 per cent month-on-month in September and falling by 2.2 per cent overall in the third quarter, the UK is far from seeing a hopedfor rebalancing with a greater contribution from exports. However, there is some silver lining here. Survey evidence on the UK’s foreign orders has been showing encouraging signs of improvement. The export index of the purchasing managers’ survey for manufacturing showed export orders rising for a seventh successive month in October and at the fastest

rate since February 2011 with higher demand reported from Asia, the United States, the Middle East, Russia and, yes, mainland Europe. Meanwhile, the export order balance of the CBI’s industrial trends survey has risen to a 31-month high in September. While the weaker euro against sterling makes life immediately more difficult, the underlying reasons for the ECB’s actions may cause immediate forex reaction to be revisited. Rob Harbron, economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said the rate change “highlights the extent of the damage done to the eurozone economy over the five years since the financial crisis began and also how far there is left for the recovery to go.” The detail of the Commission’s forecast gives little comfort. Among the countries to suffer the biggest growth downgrades were Spain, where the Commission now expects growth of just 0.5 per cent, against 0.9 per cent previously, and France, now expected to grow by only 0.9 per cent next year, down from a previous estimate of 1.1 per cent. But that was not France’s biggest headache. The move by ratings agency Standard and Poor’s to cut the country’s credit rating from AA+ to AA not only hits the financial standing of France internationally, but it also intensifies political problems for the French government. S&P warned that it expects government debt to hit 86 per cent of GDP in 2015 and unemployment to remain above 10 per cent until 2016. So after a period of relative calm when the eurozone was not making crisis headlines, we are again reminded that its major structural problems still have to be tackled. And it will be a long while yet before they are – even assuming that the eurozone’s member governments have the understanding, the will and the courage to act. n




Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street

Are you ready for the American Recession of 2014? Ominous signs that an already weak recovery may be faltering.


hile no one here is predicting a repeat of the nearly disastrous slump that ran from 2007 into 2009, there are disturbing signs that the weak recovery since that time may stutter in the first quarter of next year and produce no growth at all or, worse, sag into negative territory through the spring months before regaining shaky momentum. This is a fairly recent development and there is still no solid consensus among Wall Street’s leading forecasters. US share prices continue to boom due to the twin propellants of lush corporate profit reports and because individual retail investors have at last come in off the sidelines to try to ride the rising tide. In Washington, the Obama administration’s spokesmen argue an even more optimistic line. They note the recent several years of average two per cent growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) which, they note, is not that far off the three percentage point rate of past decades. Two per cent may not be great, but it’s not bad, they say. Actually, US GDP growth averaged between three and five per cent during the times they cite but the higher number is finessed. The hard fact is that US economic growth since the socalled recovery began in 2009 is actually negligible in statistical terms and in terms of general prosperity. According to no less than ‘The Economist’ in its sta-

tistical yearbook for 2014, the US economy has actually averaged a statistically questionable 0.5 per cent GDP growth for the period from 2006 onward. When one examines the sources of American prosperity, there are even more doubts. The giant US manufacturing complex that dominated the world a generation ago has shrunk. Manufacturing now contributes a mere 13 per cent of GDP. Services now account for nearly 80 per cent of the remainder. Those activities are more dependent on the demand from consumers and for most of the recovery American consumers have cut back on their demands, preferring to whittle down some of the overhanging debts that burden them. Lacklustre consumer demand means weak employment prospects all around. As a result there are now 90.6 million Americans over the age of 16 who are not working. This is not only an all-time high but it is ten million individuals more than when Mr Obama took office in 2009. When the White House celebrates a few hundred thousand new wage earners, as it did in September, the citizenry can see the lie in their livingrooms.

A wounded president It is too much to assert that the vexations of Mr Obama’s signature legislative achievement – the Obamacare extension of health insurance to millions of low income folks – is a total

collapse that will lead to its repeal. Yet the President has been gravely wounded in his personal popularity and now his ability to frame other issues – especially broader economic policy remedies – is nil. With the Congressional elections of 2014 now upon us, even Obama loyalists in the House and Senate are distancing themselves from the White House at a time when America can ill afford a lameduck chief executive. What that means is that there will be no repeat of the administration’s timely stimulus of government spending and capital infusions for the banks if a slowdown does occur. Federal Reserve board members, awaiting the arrival of the new chairmanship of Janet Yellin, are poised to begin ‘tapering’ the Fed’s 80-billion dollar infusion into the Treasury that has kept interest rates effectively at zero. America is already paying a price for the Obama-Fed stimulus. Recently the Treasury issued a new version of its globally popular one-hundred dollar bill with new anti-counterfeiting technologies built into the design. The trouble is that it now takes five of those bills to carry the same global purchasing power that one did in the early 1970s. The government’s headlong deficit spending has swollen its burden to 106 per cent of annual GDP, much of that being financed by governments and investors from abroad who use the dollar to hedge against their

own domestic uncertainties. But for how much longer? The final blow came a month ago, just as the Obamacare programme unveiling suffered an embarrassing computer system crash. The White House’s inability to reach an agreement with a tiny minority of renegade Republican House members led to a fortnight’s cessation of government services. That in turn has shaved as much as half a percentage point off fourth quarter GDP estimates and another quarter point off first quarter 2014 forecasts. All this is problematical and hopefully will not lead to a recession. But a sure sign of a downturn will be easy to spot and may come before the year is out. No less a sage than Warren Buffett is warning that a bubble in Wall Street share prices has occurred and a correction of several hundred points on the Dow industrials could come at any moment. Back in 1999, Buffett made headlines when he warned that the aggregate value of the 5000 US shares in the Wilshire 5000 index exceeded US GDP. At one point the index was 50 per cent more valuable than GDP, then a painful bear market corrected that. Buffett sounded the alarm again in 2007 when the Wilshire exceeded GDP. Last week he hit the alarm bell again. After sagging to 68 per cent of GDP in 2009, the index has climbed back over 100 per n cent in recent weeks. Industry Europe 7

Producing liquefied natural gas at Qatargas 4

The issue of energy prices has risen to the top of the political agenda in many European countries as a new round of increases in retail gas and electricity prices gets underway this autumn. Can price controls stem the rise?



uropean consumers face inflationbusting increases in energy prices of up to 10 per cent this winter as energy suppliers hike prices, citing higher wholesale prices and network costs. With much of Europe still in recession and other countries just embarking on a fragile recovery, the cost of power and gas has become a big issue. Politicians from across the continent and the political spectrum have responded with pledges to tackle ever rising prices. Much discussion has focused on price controls, which even a few years ago were unthinkable given the emphasis on market liberalisation and increased competition to deliver lower prices. But the official line from the EU is that competition coupled with increased integration of national markets can still deliver. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite vowed to take action as the country took over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU for the first time on 1 July. Grybauskaite said rising energy prices were hindering the continent’s economic recovery. She blamed this on growing reliance on imported natural gas, especially from Russia, because EU countries had been too slow to invest in liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure that would allow them to diversify their supplies. 8 Industry Europe

Nor has Europe moved fast enough to develop shale gas, whose development in the US has given rise to an abundant new energy resource, transforming the sector. Addressing a conference on completing the EU’s internal energy market in Vilnius on 4 November, Grybauskaite urged the EU to invest in infrastructure and indigenous energy. “Reasonably priced energy is demanded by our businesses. Rational use of energy can free funds which can contribute to our economic recovery,” she said. “More than ever, if we want to be less dependent on external suppliers, we should also invest in local options such as renewables, as well as in energy efficiency,” she added. During Lithuania’s EU presidency, she urged European countries to kickstart new infrastructure investments and to embrace shale gas – gas found in tight geological formations whose extraction requires the use of water for hydraulic fracturing. But several European countries, including Bulgaria, France and the Netherlands, have banned shale gas drilling while others like Romania and Sweden have abandoned shale gas exploration projects on environmental grounds or because suitable sites were not available. Grybauskaite said Lithuania would push ahead with shale gas exploration plans

despite fierce local opposition in order to diversify its energy sources – like its neighbours, Estonia and Latvia, the Baltic state is entirely dependent on imported gas from Russia. And she said Europe should benefit from US shale gas in the form of LNG exports. But the US is still several years way from exporting any of its shale gas, and LNG prices, in the meantime, remain stubbornly high because of high demand in Asia – especially post-Fukushima Japan. Some LNG terminals are lying idle as LNG is too expensive to displace pipeline gas.

Putting the lid on prices But even in the UK, where shale gas exploration is underway and LNG imports are already a fact of life, energy prices have continued to march upwards, prompting the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Ed Milliband, to promise to freeze energy prices for 20 months from 2017 should his party win the next election in 2015. He said a Labour government would use the time to reform the energy sector, including splitting up the ‘big six’ suppliers and replacing energy regulator Ofgem with a stronger regulator. His pledge comes against a backdrop of inflation-busting price hikes for customers not on fixed-price deals. Four of the big six

Shah Deniz Alpha during construction

Prelude FLNG

Gas & Power LNG Tanker

Bonny Island Terminal Liquefied Natural Gas Ship

have already hiked prices. German owned RWE Npower is putting power and gas prices up by an average of 9.3 per cent and 11.1 per cent respectively from December 1. Centrica, which owns the UK’s biggest energy supplier British Gas, will raise prices by 9.2 per cent on average from November 23, while SSE said it would hike prices by an average of 8.2 per cent from November 15. Spanish-owned Scottish Power is to hike prices by an average of 8.6 per cent on 6 December. The other two, EDF and E.ON, are expected to announce similar increases this winter. As in other countries, utilities say they have to put up prices to pass on higher wholesale energy costs and the cost of meeting environmental and social obligations. RWE Npower chief executive Paul Massara said that only 16 per cent of the costs faced by energy sup-

pliers are under their control and warned that price controls would not work. “It doesn’t cut the growing costs of supplying energy. Imposing price controls discourages investment, increases uncertainty and ultimately leads to higher prices,” Massara said. Centrica shares this view. “If prices were to be controlled against a background of rising costs it would simply not be economically viable for Centrica, or indeed any other energy supplier, to continue to operate and far less to meet the sizeable investment challenge that the industry is facing,” British Gas’ owner said in September.

Who pays the price? Any move to introduce new price controls would be at odds with European Union energy policy, which puts the emphasis on

liberalisation and competition to bring prices down. Indeed EU leaders have agreed in principle to end all regulated prices by next year, which is the deadline to complete the EU’s single energy market. The European Commission found last year that two thirds of EU countries were still regulating energy prices in some form. And European energy regulators group CEER concluded in May that the use of regulated prices was hindering the development of the free market. But prior experience of price caps shows this merely moves the cost burden from the consumer to the taxpayer, who are in essence the same. When Spain embarked on the liberalisation in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the government decided that it would give customers a choice of switching suppliers with the hope of getting a better Industry Europe 9

deal on a new market-based tariff, or sticking with the security of regulated tariffs for an interim period. It was betting on competition bringing lower prices. But Spain’s move to a liberalised power market coincided with the beginning of a long rally in oil prices that saw the oil price more than triple over the course of a decade. This is significant for the power sector because Spain’s gas imports, increasingly used for power generation, are priced using a formula that indexes them to oil. This is the case in most European countries. The gap between the artificially low regulated price and the market price continued to widen with the effect that it was in consumers’ interest to stay on regulated prices rather than move to market rates. The country’s utilities protested that they could not fund vital investments in new infrastructure, power generation capacity (including a booming renewables sector) with their meagre earnings from regulated tariffs. The government stepped in to compensate them, as a temporary measure until market prices fell below regulated tariffs. But this never happened. What began as a relatively small gap of a few hundred million euros in 2000 was supposed to be clawed back through higher transmission tariffs, but 10 Industry Europe

the deficit has now ballooned to a staggering €30 billion according to the latest estimates. The tariff deficit has become a major headache for Spain as it grapples with austerity measures to pay off its huge public sector debts. Other countries, including Portugal and Italy, have faced similar challenges as a result of price controls.

Are ‘green’ costs to blame? But if policy makers are to resist the temptation of direct intervention in the energy market, what can they do to stem the tide of rising energy costs? Some utilities point the finger at the politicians themselves, blaming them for mandatory targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments, especially for low-income consumers. But even according to their own estimates, ‘green levie’ and social costs only make up a fraction of total utility bills. And investments in indigenous renewable energy sources like wind power are intended, in part, to cut dependence on imported fossil fuels, whose inflated costs utilities cite as a justification for hiking retail prices. While renewable energy typically has high initial capital costs, running costs are minimal. Policy frameworks could be adjusted to ensure that renewable genera-

tors do not receive excessive compensation once they have paid down those capital costs, but the cost of existing renewable capacity has already been borne. And as renewable technologies mature, those capital costs should fall. However, recent action by the European Commission to protect Europe’s solar energy manufacturers in the face of aggressive competition from ‘cheap’ Chinese imports could result in higher costs. In June the EC imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels and components, upholding a complaint from European manufacturers that Chinese producers were selling solar cells into Europe at below-cost prices. European solar generators face higher costs as a result and that in turn could mean n more price hikes are in store. Large-scale LNG plant



New developments in the Energy industry

Shah Deniz agreements with European gas purchasers concluded


he Shah Deniz consortium, in which BP is the operator, has concluded 25-year sales agreements for just over 10 billion cubic metres a year (BCMA) of gas to be produced from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan as a result of the development of Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz project. Nine companies will purchase this gas in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria. The Shah Deniz Stage 2 project is set to bring gas directly from Azerbaijan to Europe for the first time, opening up the Southern Gas Corridor. In total 16 BCMA of Shah Deniz Stage 2 gas will be delivered through more than 3500 kilometres of pipelines through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and under the Adriatic Sea to Italy. Visit:

Shell announces successful bid for giant field in deep water Brazil A

Peter Voser, CEO

consortium of companies, including Royal Dutch Shell plc, Petrobras, Total, CNPC and CNOOC, have won a 35-year production sharing contract to develop the giant Libra pre-salt oil discovery located in the Santos Basin, offshore Brazil. The Brazilian regulator, Agência Nacional do Petróleo (ANP), estimates Libra’s recoverable resources of between 8 to 12 billion barrels of oil. Shell holds 20% in the

GDF SUEZ invests in UK shale gas exploration

consortium, with Petrobras 40% as operator, Total 20%, CNPC 10% and CNOOC 10%. The consortium will work together in an integrated fashion to support Petrobras, the most experienced operator in the Brazilian pre-salt, and will incorporate each company’s deep water skills, people and technology for the success of the venture. Visit:

Jean-Marie Dauger


DF SUEZ E&P UK has entered into an agreement with Dart Energy to acquire a 25% share in 13 UK onshore licences located in Cheshire and the East Midlands, overlying the Bowland Shale. Dart Energy will retain a 75% interest and operatorship of the licences. This acquisition represents GDF SUEZ’s first entry into licences with shale gas potential and onshore exploration activities in the UK. “We are very confident about the potential of shale gas in the UK, and its anticipated contributions to UK energy security. GDF SUEZ is pleased to enter its first investment in UK shale gas as it complements the large presence of the group in the UK. We look forward to working with our partner, Dart Energy, to unlock the potential of these licences,” says Jean-Marie Dauger, executive vice-president GDF SUEZ, in charge of the Global Gas & LNG business line. Visit:

E.ON opens Kårehamn offshore wind farm in Sweden


.ON has officially opened the Kårehamn offshore wind farm near the Swedish island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. The wind farm had already been connected to the grid a few weeks earlier after only 19 months of construction. Kårehamn has a capacity of 48

megawatts and costs 120 million euros to build. 16 Vestas V112 turbines, each with a capacity of three megawatts, will produce enough electricity to power some 28,000 homes. Kårehamn was built using the MPI Discovery, an ultra-modern installation vessel which E.ON had commissioned especially for its offshore wind farms and

has exclusively chartered for the next six years. It has six jack-up legs which lift the whole 140 metre long and 40 metre wide vessel out of the water to provide a stable platform from which foundations and wind turbines can be efficiently and safely installed even in rough seas. Visit:

Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Energy industry

Kubanskaya CS brought onstream T

he Ust-Labinsk District of the Krasnodar Territory has hosted festive events dedicated to the bringing onstream of the Kubanskaya compressor station (CS), an integral part of the Southern Corridor gas transmission system. “The Kubanskaya CS has become a crucial part of Gazprom’s gas transmission system in southern Russia. It will enhance the security of gas supplies to the Black Sea coast of the Krasnodar Territory as well as the Olympic venues. Later on, the compressor station will supply gas via the Southern Corridor to the South Stream gas export pipeline. Therefore, the timely commissioning of the Kubanskaya CS is yet another proof of the fact that Gazprom keeps up with the Southern Corridor construction schedule,” said Vitaly Markelov, deputy chairman of the Gazprom management committee. Visit:

Rosneft and ExxonMobil select engineering and design contractors for Russian Far East LNG Project


osneft and ExxonMobil have selected CB&I UK and Foster Wheeler Energy as contractors for initial phase front end engineering and design (FEED) for a proposed Russian Far East liquefied natural gas project. CB&I UK and Foster Wheeler Energy will be awarded separate contracts for the initial phase front end engineering and design. The scope of work covers a conceptual project including finalising details for an LNG plant site,

gas liquefaction technology and construction method. Following submission by the companies of their respective concepts and design, the plant design capacity of the project is expected to be five million tons per year and may be expanded in the future. The liquefaction plant will receive natural gas feedstock from Rosneft’s reserves in the Far East and Sakhalin gas reserves. Visit:

Eni launches the Green Data Centre A

little more than two years after laying the foundation stone, Eni has opened its new Green Data Centre in Ferrera Erbognone (Pavia). The building will host Eni’s central computer processing systems, both for information management and seismic simulation processing (High Performance Computing). ‘Let’s give energy a new energy’ is the philosophy which underlies Eni’s decision to

Ekofisk South brought on stream in the North Sea


otal has announced the start-up of oil production from the Ekofisk South project in the Norwegian part of the North Sea, approximately two months ahead of schedule. The project will increase oil recovery in the Ekofisk field, located in the PL 018 license where Total

12 Industry Europe

make the project available to universities and research centres. The new centre (Italian in design and construction) will be among the most important in Europe in terms of its purpose and size (5200 useful m2, up to 30MW of IT power and up to 50kW/m2 of energy density) and the best in the world for energy efficiency. Thanks to its innovative infrastructure it will cut CO2 emissions by 335,000 tons per year

(about 1 per cent of the Italian Kyoto energy target), and significantly reduce operating costs. Visit:

holds a 39.9% interest. The production capacity at the Ekofisk South platform is 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day. The project includes the drilling of 35 new production wells and eight injection wells. “Ekofisk came on stream in 1971 and is still one of the largest oil fields in Norway. The Ekofisk South project is an important

building block to extend the lifespan of Ekofisk for some 40 further years. This start-up, together with those of Eldfisk II in 2015 and Martin Linge in late 2016, will significantly increase Total’s production in Norway by 2017,” said Patrice de Viviès, Total’s senior vice-president Exploration & Production, Northern Europe. Visit:


RWE Dea UK starts production from the Breagh gas field R

WE Dea UK has started gas production from the Breagh gas field located in the UK Southern North Sea. The first three wells brought into production had an initial total flow rate of 2.75 million cubic metres of gas per day. Total reserves of the Breagh field are estimated at approximately 19.8 billion cubic metres. Breagh is one of the largest natural gas discoveries under development in the UK sector of the Southern North Sea and the largest RWE Dea operated field development project in the United Kingdom. The company has a 70% stake in the licence (Sterling Resources UK the remaining 30%). “Breagh is very important in the context of achieving our company’s growth targets as this field will make a major contribution towards boosting RWE Dea’s gas production,” explains Thomas Rappuhn, chief executive officer of RWE Dea AG. Visit:

IBERDROLA commissions combined cycle plant in Algeria I

BERDROLA INGENIERÍA has completed the commissioning of the Koudiet combined cycle plant in Algeria, after switching on the third unit of this large generation facility, which totals a capacity of 1200 megawatts (MW). The company has carried out this project in partnership with General Electric, under a €1470 million contract awarded by SKD, a corporation set up by Sonelgaz and Sonatrach, the Algerian gas and electricity and hydrocarbon

companies. The agreement included the design, equipment procurement, construction and assembly of the plant. Koudiet is a gas-steam combined cycle plant consisting of three units, each with a capacity of 400 MW. The facility will supply energy to nearly four million people in Algeria, representing 18% of the country’s total electricity consumption. Visit:

Growing support for gas exploration in UK


ew research from BritainThinks shows that a majority of the public within Cuadrilla’s Bowland Basin licence area in Lancashire support shale gas exploration and the numbers in favour are continuing to rise. The main findings were that 57% of respondents ‘strongly support’ or ‘support’ shale gas exploration (compared to 44% in October 2012 and 50% in December 2012) and that the numbers of people who ‘oppose’ or ‘strongly oppose’ exploration has fallen from 25% in December 2012 to 20% in this latest survey. Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said, “This research shows that for many people in Lancashire the potential benefits of shale gas exploration become crystal clear when they consider the facts and the related job creation and economic opportunities.” Visit:

Irish Sea wind farm installs first turbine


he first of 108 Siemens 3.6MW turbines has been successfully installed at the West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm, a 50/50 joint venture between Denmark’s DONG Energy and ScottishPower Renewables. The wind farm is expected to be fully completed in 2014.

The components for the wind farm are stored at the bespoke offshore wind installation and pre-assembly facility at Belfast Harbour ready for sailing out to the construction site in the East Irish Sea. Offshore work is being carried out by two of the world’s most advanced installation vessels: Swire Blue Ocean’s Pacific Orca and the Sea Installer – owned by

A2SEA. Working in tandem, Sea Installer is currently installing the wind turbines with Pacific Orca scheduled to finish foundation installation around the end of October 2013. Visit: or

Industry Europe 13

The UK’s largest fuel cell system has been installed at a landmark redevelopment project in central London.



he fuel cell installation, which was designed and integrated by Edinburghbased Logan Energy, has been undertaken at The Crown Estate’s £400 million, 270,000 sq ft (25 000m2) mixed-use Quadrant 3 scheme. The 300 kW molten carbonate fuel cell forms part of one of the world’s most sophisticated central energy systems, which serves more than half-a-million square feet of offices, retail, residential, restaurant, and hotel space in the Regent Street Quadrant area. This is the first molten carbonate fuel cell to be installed in the UK, and the most efficient fuel cell installation in Europe, emitting 38 per cent less CO2 than using electricity from the grid and heat from efficient gasfired boilers. Fuel cell power provides the most efficient combined cooling, heat and power distributed energy schemes, and was chosen to help the project meet its clean air and carbon reduction targets. The 300 kW fuel 14 Industry Europe

cell CHP installation – supplied by FuelCell Energy in Connecticut – runs on natural gas, with no combustion products such as NOx, SOx and particulates, and saving 350 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum. The heat from this fuel cell installation will be used for facility heating and cooling, resulting in maximum efficiency and cost savings for The Crown Estate’s customers. The overall efficiency of the installation is estimated at 83 per cent, but with a higher electrical contribution than other types of distributed generation. Fuel cells have the potential to revolutionise the way we power our world, offering cleaner, more-efficient alternatives to the combustion of gasoline and other fossil fuels. They could one day replace the internal-combustion engine in vehicles and can already provide power in stationary and portable power applications because they are energy-efficient, clean and fuel-flexible. Because the oxidation of the fuel in a fuel cell is an electrochemical reaction and not

combustion, the exhaust emissions are ultra low in NOx, SOx and particulates. Fuel cells produce DC electricity which is stabilised and then converted, using an inverter, to AC. All fuel cells produce water as a by-product so the exhaust can be condensed and water produced. This is generally of a high purity and can be cleaned to produce de-ionised water. The Quadrant 3 scheme’s pioneering sustainable features have been key to attracting its first office tenant to its 18,600m2 (200,000 ft2) of Grade A space. Generation Investment Management, the independent investment management firm dedicated to long-term, sustainable investing, has signed a 15-year lease for the 1980m2 (21,300 ft2) top floor space. Endorsing Quadrant 3, Al Gore, chairman of Generation Investment Management, said: “Generation is delighted to be The Crown Estate’s anchor tenant in this exciting building. The AirW1 office space and associated public realm development showcases

their ongoing and increasingly sophisticated commitment to sustainability. We are very pleased to be able to continue our partnership with The Crown Estate, whose emphasis on sustainability is fully aligned with our own values and investment philosophy.” Quadrant 3 also breathes new life into two 1930s Art Deco restaurants, which were once home to the pre-eminent Atlantic Bar and Grill and Titanic Restaurant. Timber veneer, gold leaf architraving, marble, brass, mirrors, ceilings, and even original wallpaper have been meticulously catalogued, removed and restored by expert artisan craftsmen, before being put back together again like a complex jigsaw. “Occupiers are increasingly looking to operate more sustainably, and this includes factoring in the green credentials of their premises,” says Alastair Smart, The Crown Estate’s Head of Development. “The fuel cell is a real flag in the sand, demonstrating what is possible in terms of energy efficiency and carbon reduction, and it will only enhance the building’s reputation as a world-leading example of sustainable development.”

As part of their commitment to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions TfL (Transport for London) commissioned the project in 2008; at that time they estimated a reduction in carbon emissions of 40 per cent and a cost saving of £90,000 per annum as a result of the CCHP installations. The system is capable of providing 200kWe and approximately 263kWth energy to the building services installations, operating at a system efficiency of 36 per cent. A system connects the fuel cell power module to existing systems to distribute heat and electricity to associated plant and equipment including an absorption chiller, hot water storage system and the main electrical building distribution system. Emissions from the fuel cell system are significantly less than traditional generation processes and NOx levels of <1 ppmV and CO < 2 ppmV are expected; all others emissions such as SOx, particulates and non methane hydrocarbons are negligible.

Last autumn Logan Energy announced that it would install a fuel cell power plant from FuelCell Energy Solutions GmbH – the German-based joint venture between FuelCell Energy and the Fraunhofer IKTS Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems – at the 20 Fenchurch office development in central London, due for completion next year. “This project demonstrates that fuel cell based energy centres are able to compete with all other forms of distributed generation, even without government subsidy, and will play an increasingly significant role in the reduction of carbon emissions and electrical power resilience in the UK,” says Bill Ireland, chief executive and chairman of Logan Energy Ltd. “We are presently negotiating several MW-scale projects which make commercial sense as companies strive for control over rising utility prices, lifecycle cost and carbon n reduction, and security of supply.”

Energy for TfL Logan Energy is a market leader in providing energy-efficient solutions that harness the power of hydrogen. Its previous projects include Transport for London’s prestigious Palestra Building in Southwark, where a fuel cell power plant has been operating successfully since it was commissioned in February 2010. The fuel cell forms part of an integrated tri-generation system providing electrical energy, heat and cooling to the Palestra building. It is the largest capacity fuel cell operating in London. Industry Europe 15


New contracts and orders in industry

Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines and propulsion systems chosen for Chinese LNG carrier vessels


ärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions and services provider, is to supply its Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines and propulsion systems for two liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier vessels under construction in two Chinese shipyards. The two orders are similar in scope of supply but have been issued separately. The first is from the Ningbo Xinle Shipbuilding Group Co. Ltd together with its trading partner, Shanghai CSR Hange Shipping Engineering Co. Ltd. The other order has been issued by Cosco (Dalian) shipyards .The ships are being built for two different Chinese owners, the Zhejiang Yuanhe

Ocean Shipping Company and Dalian Inteh Group Co.Ltd. Each vessel will be powered by a Wärtsilä 50DF engine, a Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP), a gearbox and related systems. The Wärtsilä 50DF engines selected to power these vessels will enable them to operate primarily on LNG while retaining the option to switch to conventional marine fuels if necessary. Deliveries of the Wärtsilä equipment are scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014, and the ships will be launched approximately one year later. Visit:

Iveco secures Saab receives launch order for new conquest order Acro seats from Braathens Regional and security company Saab has adapted to the Saab footprint and Saab was from TJ Transport Defence received an order for new Acro seats in responsible for the type certification into the Saab


veco has secured a conquest order from TJ Transport for a Trakker Hi-Land 8x4 (AT340T41K) rigid tipper – one of the first examples of Iveco’s new Trakker model to enter operation in the UK. Featuring a low-roof sleeper cab, the new Trakker stands out for its revised cab design which ensures drivers enjoy the comfort offered by the road-going Stralis, but packaged to suit the needs of operators accessing construction sites, landfills and similar off-road locations. The new vehicle is the customer’s first Iveco 8-wheeler and was delivered by local dealer Hendy Van & Truck and supplied on an Iveco Elements repair and maintenance contract. It is an addition to TJ Transport’s 80-strong fleet which includes rigid tippers, some of which feature crane mounted bulk material grabs, together with tractor units operating with a mixture of tipper and roll-on roll-off trailers for large scale waste disposal. Visit:

Additional orders for 15 firm ATRs and 25 options


he Danish leasing firm Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) and the regional turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR have announced the signature to increase the order placed at the 2013 Paris Airshow by an order for additionally 15 firm ATRs and options for 25 aircraft.

16 Industry Europe

Braathens Regionals 340/2000 fleet, meaning Braathens Regional will be the launch customer for the modification.The seats are one of a series of upcoming modifications to adapt the aircraft into the next 25 years of operations and in line with Saab’s long-term commitment to the fleet. The lightweight Acro seats have been developed in cooperation between Saab and Acro, where Acro was responsible for the seat design

Commenting on this announcement, Martin Møller, chairman of NAC, declared: “We are pleased to have inked such an outstanding amount of ATRs this year. Their strong performance and reliability, coupled with their proven operational success in very different environments make them the right choice for us when thinking about expanding our regional aircraft activities.”

aircraft. The seat modification is thereby available via a Saab Service Bulletin which makes a modified aircraft fully transferable between countries. The seats are sold and distributed exclusively through Saab. The seats offer, in addition to customer appeal, a substantial weight reduction, additional legroom and reduced maintenance due to a robust, modular, easy-clean structure. Visit:

Filippo Bagnato, CEO of ATR, said: “In the last few years, we have developed and consolidated a very fruitful partnership with NAC. The result is that today the ATRs are entering into new markets, are being operated by an increasing number of airlines and are contributing to further deploy regional air connectivity in many countries.” Visit:


Vossloh gains large order in South Africa


he Vossloh Group is progressing successfully with the internationalisation of its Transportation business division and has signed a contract with the South African company Swifambo Rail Leasing (Swifambo) for the supply of 70 locomotives to be used on passenger services. Tipping the scales for Swifambo in favour of Vossloh were the versatility, power and efficiency of these EURO-family units sourced from Vossloh España in Albuixech, Valencia. Thanks to their green attributes, their design components and innovative technology, these types of locomotives are ideal to optimise rail transport. Swifambo will supply the locomotives to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) which is revamping and expanding its fleet with Vossloh locomotives.

The complete deal is worth around €250 million. The versatile EURODual locomotives from Vossloh can run on both electrified and non-electrified lines. The first units are scheduled to be shipped out to South Africa in the second quarter of 2014, the final ones by the end of 2016. Visit:

Balfour Beatty Construction awarded Eastman Corporate Business Centre B

alfour Beatty Construction has been selected to provide preconstruction and construction management at risk services for Eastman Chemical Company’s new Corporate Business Centre. Located in Kingsport, Tenn., the facility will be an innovative ‘workplace of the future’ that will bring multiple company organisations together into one building to foster employee creativity and collaboration. “We are thrilled to be Eastman’s partner on such an important project for their company,” said David Laib, senior vice-president at Balfour Beatty. “We look forward to providing Eastman employees a worldclass, innovative workplace that they will be proud to call home.” The multi-storey office facility will be designed to accommodate more than 850 employees and feature amenities such as a fitness centre, cafeteria, customer meeting spaces, customer innovation space, and conference rooms. The design will incorporate branding and sustainability elements, Eastman’s high-performance and energy efficient building products where possible, flexible space solutions, and maximum natural light. Preconstruction services are already underway. Construction is anticipated to begin the first quarter of 2014 with completion aimed for late summer 2015. Visit:

Nederman receives order worth SEK 55 million


ederman has received an order from Johnson Control Inc. to supply complete solutions for filtration of lead dust in two plants in North America. The order is worth SEK 55 million. Johnson Control Inc. is a global diversified technology and industrial company with

168,000 employees serving customers in more than 150 countries. The order includes baghouses to filtrate lead dust from several furnaces in two North American plants where Johnson Control Inc. melts batteries to recycle lead. “The recycling industry is an interesting and growing business and Johnson Control is a demanding customer. Getting this order

Vallourec to supply the offshore Xerelete field in Brazil


allourec, world leader in premium tubular solutions, has announced that Vallourec Tubos do Brasil, Vallourec’s wholly-owned Brazilian subsidiary, has been selected to supply premium pipes for the offshore Xerelete field in Brazil, of which Total became an operator in June 2012. The Xerelete field is located in the Campos Basin, around 250km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in 2400m water depth. Vallourec’s products will be used in the exploration and appraisal wells for additional oil and gas resources. The tubes will be produced at Vallourec Tubos do Brasil in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. The mill successfully achieved the extensive qualification process required by Total and is now part of its approved suppliers, for providing OCTG products, such as casings, tubing and accessories with premium connections. Philippe Crouzet, chairman of Vallourec’s management board, added: “We are very pleased to have been selected by Total for their operatorship in Brazil. On top of our long-term presence in this country, the qualification and selection of our local subsidiary recognises the level of technological expertise and qualified workforce that we have developed.” Visit:

shows our ability to create eco-efficient production with a unique technology resulting in lead emission levels well under the stated requirements,” says Sven Kristensson, CEO of Nederman.
 The order is booked in the third quarter and installation is planned to take place in the second and third quarter 2014. Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

Aker Solutions Solvay to acquire US-based Chemlogics acquires Opus AS A

ker Solutions has acquired a specialist processing company called Opus Maxim Ltd (Opus), headquartered in the UK. This is an acquisition targeted at strengthening its technology portfolio in the process systems segment. Opus is a leader in oil/water separation and produced water treatment, with particular expertise in modifying and enhancing ageing oil and produced water processing systems. Opus, which has around 40 employees in Guildford and the Orkney island of Flotta, has developed in-house technologies and solutions, which it offers to the global market. In Orkney, it has established unique testing facilities, which enable accurate simulation and modelling of fluids generated during oil and gas production. It also enables customers to determine the optimum oil/ water separation and produced water treatment solution specific to an oil company’s reservoir. 


 “The purchase of Opus will significantly enhance our process systems technology portfolio,” says David Merle, head of Aker Solutions’ process systems business. “We have ambitious plans to increase growth in the process systems business, and strengthening our existing produced water treatment, R&D testing facilities and environmental services capability are important steps on that journey.” 


ASSA ABLOY acquires two Chinese fire and security door manufacturers


SSA ABLOY has signed agreements to acquire two leading fire-rated and security door manufacturers, Xinmao and Huasheng. Xinmao and Huasheng are in the Heilongjiang and Shandong provinces in north-eastern and eastern China respectively. 18 Industry Europe

part of its ongoing transformation, Solvay has signed an agreement to acquire privately-held Chemlogics for a total cash consideration of $1.345 billion. Adding the US-based company to Solvay’s Novecare business unit will create a leader with an extensive portfolio of tailored chemical solutions for the fast-growing oil & gas market, serving stimulation, cementing, production and water management applications.

For Solvay Novecare, this acquisition will yield significant synergies thanks to a comprehensive offering of innovative products and technologies which enables oilfield service players worldwide to competitively and safely extract oil and gas while reducing water consumption. Chemlogics has shown annual double-digit EBITDA growth over the past five years, thanks to a fast-paced innovation model combined with a strong knowhow and closeness to customers. “This acquisition accelerates Solvay’s ongoing transformation towards an innovative chemical solution provider focused on high growth and strong margin businesses with a more balanced geographical and market presence,” said JeanPierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay. “Our expansion in the energy sector builds on our strategy to provide differentiated solutions addressing the sustainability challenges that society faces with an increasing number of consumers and scarce resources.” Visit:

PressureFab purchases RT Metals


undee-based PressureFab has announced its acquisition of Arbroath stainless steel manufacturer RT Metal Services Limited. PressureFab is a leading designer and fabricator of specialist certified offshore equipment, such as containers, topside modules, reelers, tanks, filtration systems and modular systems, for use in the oil and gas industry. Hermann Twickler, managing director of PressureFab, said: “We welcome the addition of RT Metal Services to our group of companies. We are confident that this will open up opportunities with new and current customers for the manufacture of piping and vessels from stainless steel, duplex and inconel materials. “I am very pleased that Xinmao and Huasheng are joining the ASSA ABLOY Group. The acquisitions of Xinmao and Huasheng represent another important step in our strategy to grow market presence in China and other emerging markets,” says Johan Molin, president and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. “Xinmao and Huasheng are great additions to the ASSA ABLOY Asia Pacific

Reaching an annual turnover of nearly £6 million in 2012, PressureFab has more than doubled year on year since its inception. The acquisition of RT Metal Services represents PressureFab’s diversified strategy to grow the company through acquisitions in addition to its own rapid organic growth. Visit:

division. They complement very well our existing fire-rated door product offering in China, both geographically and commercially. It will also be beneficial to our key account management in the area,” says Jonas Persson, executive vice-president of ASSA ABLOY and head of division Asia Pacific. Visit:


JF Hillebrand Benelux takes over Clariant acquires organic Meerendonk Advanced Logistics pigment business of Jiangsu Multicolor JF Hillebrand Benelux has announced an agreement with Meerendonk Advanced Logistics for the acquisition of all activities in the Netherlands and Belgium. Through this acquisition JF Hillebrand strengthens its dedicated wine and beverage logistics services in the Benelux. “The acquisition of Meerendonk Advanced Logistics is a big step forward for JF Hillebrand,” said Hans Schipper, managing director of JF Hillebrand Benelux. “There are a great many synergies between our businesses, with many of their activities seamlessly connecting to our activities. In addition, their expertise in areas such as customs clearance will be a great extension of our service portfolio.” Meerendonk Advanced Logistics was founded in 1985 by current owner Michel van den Meerendonk, and has offices in Ridderkerk and Antwerp. The company has wide expertise in the import of wine for both importers and retailers, and is fully customs and AEO compliant.


Atlas Copco completes acquisition of Synatec


tlas Copco, a leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions, has closed the acquisition of Synatec, which provides quality improvement solutions mainly to the automotive industry. Synatec, based near Stuttgart, Germany, provides products and solutions to improve flexibility and quality for manufacturing companies’ workplace operations, operator guidance,

as well as data collection and analysis. The company has 120 employees and had revenue in 2012 of €12 million (SEK 105 million). The acquired business is now part of Atlas Copco’s MVI Tools and Assembly Systems division in the Industrial Technique business area. Atlas Copco announced on 20 September 2013 that it had agreed to purchase Synatec.

Yanmar and Manitou strengthen their strategic alliance

in North America for which the initial results have been very positive. Manitou Americas, throughout North America, distributes Yanmar’s compact excavators under the Gehl and Mustang brand names while Yanmar America distributes Compact Equipment skid steers and track loaders under its brand name. The arrival of Yanmar as a Manitou shareholder embodies its will to


anmar has acquired 6.26% of the capital and voting rights of Manitou BF. This comes as the two groups enhance their strategic alliance, expanding cross distribution into Mexico and Latin America. In January 2012, Manitou and Yanmar announced the signing of a strategic alliance

lariant, a world leader in speciality chemicals, has acquired the Organic Pigment business of Jiangsu Multicolor Fine Chemical Co. Ltd (JMC) based in Jiangsu Province, PRC. JMC is a leading supplier of several types of high performance pigments and pigment preparations in China. The business recorded sales of RMB 210 million (approximately CHF 30 million). It manufactures and markets pigments and pigment preparations mainly for customers in coatings, plastics and printing inks in the domestic and export markets. The bolt-on acquisition allows Clariant to expand its pigments and pigment preparation activities in China in order to have better access to customers in the region and especially in China. “The acquistion of the Jiangsu Multicolor Business and the investment in a world scale pigment plant in Zhenjiang will consolidate our position as a leader in the pigments industry and it is in line with Clariant’s strategy of taking advantage of growth opportunities in Asia,” says Hariolf Kottmann, CEO of Clariant. Visit:

strengthen its industrial and commercial partnerships over the long-term. “To include Yanmar among the shareholders that accompany and support our development is proof of the solidity of our industrial and familial model and its growth potential,” stated Dominique Bamas, president & CEO of Manitou. Visit: Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

New warehouse improves delivery speed for European Automation


uropean Automation, the supplier of industrial automation parts, has opened a new 10,000 sq ft warehouse in Fenton, one of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent. The new site will provide even faster delivery of components such as inverters, motors and PLCs to a growing range of clients worldwide. European Automation is currently the only company in Europe offering a nine-hour premium delivery service. The company delivers to over 220 countries and territories around the globe. It is particularly focused on providing frequently used parts, such as the Siemens Simatic S5, as well as components that are very difficult to find. Visit:

Second production line at Renault-Nissan Tangier plant


he inauguration of the second production line at the Renault-Nissan Tangier plant was celebrated on October 8. The new line will increase the site’s output capacity to 340,000 vehicles a year, starting in 2014. It required an investment of €400 million and will produce Dacia Sandero and Dacia Sandero Stepway, two leading models in the Dacia range. This achievement, the result of a public-private partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Renault group, makes the plant the largest in Africa, a major industrial ambition and a source of productivity and development for the country’s automotive sector. “I am sure this second production line will produce great quality Sandero vehicles and will be a strong testimony to the ‘made in Morocco’ label globally,” said Jacques Prost, managing director of the Renault Morocco group. Visit:

Orange unveils its new generation data centre in Normandy


Alphatrad extends pan-European presence


lphatrad, part of the Optilingua Group and a pan-European leader in the field of translation services, has opened new offices in Copenhagen (Denmark) and is preparing to set up a branch in Italy. In addition, new services, such as film subtitling, audio-file transcription and vocal dubbing, are being implemented in order to meet customer requirements. With over 35 years’ experience in the translation field, Optilingua Group already boasts a host of affiliates and offices throughout Europe and operates under the names Alphatrad, Traducta or Viaverbia. The company provides translation services by native speakers across all business sectors, as well as proofreading/copywriting services in over 50 languages. Visit:

Dunlop expands with £4 million UK manufacturing investment


xpanding Birmingham-based manufacturer Dunlop Aircraft Tyres completed a £4 million factory investment programme when it switched on another new production machine that will further improve efficiency and increase capacity. The company, which now exports 80% of the

20 Industry Europe

order to meet the growing demand for IT services, Orange has built a 16,000m2 data center in Val-de-Reuil, France, including 5000m2 of computer room space. Known as ‘Normandy’, it will be used to host data and services for Orange business customers and the general public, to accelerate the development of Orange’s cloud computing offers and to support the group’s own IT transformation. It completes the worldwide infrastructure for Orange data centres, which now includes 16 sites in France and more than 50 around the world, representing an investment of more than €100 million. This new generation data centre uses cool ambient air to cool the computer equipment for 11 months out of the year, thereby reducing the use of artificial air-conditioning for more than 80% of the year. Visit:

products it manufactures at its Fort Dunlop site, has doubled in size in the last five years and it has recently added a number of new semi-automated production machines to satisfy the rising demand for its products. Together, the new production and testing machines increase Dunlop’s new tyre output by 15%, with most of this expansion focused on supporting operators of

popular regional aircraft manufactured by Bombardier and Embraer. Visit:


INDUSTRYPEOPLE New division manager Central Balfour Beatty’s UK Europe for Mitsubishi Electric Europe construction business appoints sustainability director


alfour Beatty has reinforced its commitment to sustainability with the appointment of one of the industry’s leading sustainability experts, Dr Paul Toyne, to its UK construction executive team. Paul takes up his role at Balfour Beatty at a time when the company has clearly demonstrated its commitment to delivering infrastructure sustainably, recently having achieved a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a 50% reduction in its use of water since 2010 in the UK. Paul chairs the Constructing Excellence Sustainability Task Force and the Green Construction Board’s ‘Greening the Industry’ Carbon Group.


ürgen Rüth has taken over the Industrial Automation Central Europe division of Mitsubishi Electric Europe BV. As division manager Central Europe he is responsible for sales, marketing and support for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Benelux countries. The 49 year old has extensive experience in marketing as well as direct and indirect sales in companies in the electro, energy and communications sectors. “I’m delighted with this new position at Mitsubishi Electric. The German speaking market in Europe is the largest and most interesting for our automation products,” says Rüth. “It’s my aim to improve and extend our market position for all our products and solutions in our target markets.”

Sulzer Dowding & Mills appoints new general manager for formed coil business


ne of Europe’s largest independent high voltage coil winding manufacturers, Sulzer Dowding & Mills, has appointed Dave Hawley as the new general manager for the formed coil business, where he will be responsible for developing new business in this competitive market. The acquisition of Dowding & Mills by Sulzer in June 2010 has resulted in continued success for the group and now the focus is to increase the coil manufacturing business to support the repair and manufacture of high voltage rotating machinery.

Norgren appoints new European chief finance officer


orgren, a global market leader in pneumatic motion and fluid control technology, has appointed Richard Fenton as European chief finance officer (CFO). A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Richard has a wealth of commercial and finance experience in industry.

New global head of sales for Season Group


teve Wilks has taken on the role of vice-president of global sales at the global, vertically integrated Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider, Season Group. Wilks, who has been responsible for EMEA business development at Season Group since 2011, will now lead the group’s sales teams in China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Canada, the US and Europe.

Richard commented: “I am a strong supporter of engineering and manufacturing businesses, and was attracted to the role at Norgren because of their unique ethos of creating Engineering Advantage for their customers. It’s a diverse and exciting company with a strong management team, clear and well-articulated vision, and a talented pool of product designers and engineers in place. Industry Europe 21



Movement without joints

Advances in technology across industry

Urban underground holds sustainable energy

T The Monolitix team from left to right: René Jähne, Flavio Campanile and Alexander Hasse


are surrounded by objects with joints from morning till night,” explains Flavio Campanile, aeronautical engineer and chairman of the board of directors at the Empa spin-off Monolitix. “Without joints, everything would be rigid: you would not able to steer a car and the brakes on bicycles would not work.” But rather than using conventional bearings and joints to create the required movement for a mechanism, solid-state mechanisms deliberately dispense with these types of elements. Instead, the material is deformed in a controlled and reversible way. As a figurative example, instead of a pair of pliers made from several parts, as representative of the traditional joint principle, Campanile highlights a pair of tweezers made from a single, elastically deformable component. “The advantages of monolithic systems are obvious: joint-free mechanisms are frictionless and wearfree and therefore also maintenance-free. This can drastically reduce the running costs of machines and instruments. In areas where high standards of hygiene are required, such as in medical devices or in the food industry, they are advantageous because they are easier to clean and sterilise. In addition, with solid-state mechanisms, assembly costs can be reduced dramatically or even avoided altogether. Compliant mechanisms can also perform functions that would be inconceivable with conventional systems: for example, aircraft wings which constantly change their geometry – like those found in nature – and optimise their use of the aerodynamic forces. Compliant concepts are also extremely well-suited to rotor blades on wind turbines that are difficult to access or for anti-friction and friction bearings in solar power plants, which are subjected to mud, sand or dust and have to function under extreme conditions. Visit:

emperatures in big cities are far above those in the surrounding rural area: Dense settlement, surface sealing, industry, traffic, and lacking vegetation cause an urban microclimate with increased temperatures in the atmosphere. Researchers from KIT and ETH Zurich have developed an analytical heat flux model to examine factors such as the increase in temperatures of sealed surfaces, heat release from buildings, sewage ducts, and underground district heating networks as well as discharge of thermal waste water. By modelling anthropogenic heat fluxes into the underground of the city of Karlsruhe, the researchers determined long-term trends of heat flux processes. The energy from close-to-surface groundwater aquifers might be used for heating in winter and cooling in summer via geothermal heat pumps and groundwater heat pumps. Use of this geothermal potential would not only cover part of the growing demand for energy, but also reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, which would counteract the heating of the cities. Visit:

Langh Ship develops closed loop scrubber A

lthough nowadays the sulphur limit for ship fuel in the North Sea and Baltic Sea is 1%, Langh Ship’s m/s Laura sails in the area with whatever fuel the charterer has found in Rotterdam, no matter how high its sulphur content. This is possible because the shipping company has equipped the vessel with a closed loop scrubber that emits exhaust gas that is even cleaner than if the fuel had a sulphur content of no more than 0.1%. 22 Industry Europe

While m/s Laura was docked in May, a scrubber was installed in the vessel. Now the exhaust gas is cleaned in line with the requirements of the upcoming regulations, and the washing waters used in the method are also cleaned. In addition, the cleaning system removes particulates from the exhaust gas, even though this is not required by legislation. The system is protected by multiple patent applications. Visit:


INDUSTRYAWARDS ZMDI receives prestigious ‘Best Company for Innovation and Sustainability Award’


MDI AG (ZMDI), a Dresden-based semiconductor company that specialises in enabling energy-efficient solutions, is the proud recipient of the regional ‘Best Company for Innovation and Sustainability Award’ from the International Alternative Investment Review (IAIR) magazine. The winner was selected following a survey of over 56,000 participants and additional due diligence by the IAIR editorial committee. The award ceremony was held on the 4th of October this year at the London Stock Exchange Group in Milan with the patronage of the European Commission and EXPO 2015 organisers and with special partnership of the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, South China Morning Post and other global financial magazines. In addition, well over 10 countries won awards in various categories but ZMDI was the only company from Germany to be a recipient. Thilo von Selchow, president and CEO of ZMDI, and

other ZMDI management and guests were present to accept the award at the ceremony. ZMDI joins the company of prestigious present and past IAIR award recipients, including Toyota, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Siemens, Ikea and Starbucks. “ZMDI is expressly committed to innovation and development of products that deliver a positive impact on our environment. We believe that energy efficiency begins at the chip level. Our mission is to create semiconductor solutions that enable our customers to develop energy-efficient products thus reducing the need for fuel and therefore reducing harmful emissions. The Innovation and Sustainability Award we received at the IAIR gala serves as a wonderful affirmation of our efforts, and we are extremely grateful for this honor. Over the last 50 years, our employees and their innovative ideas have enabled us to set consistently new technological milestones in one of the world’s most fascinating

and dynamic sectors. We see our history simultaneously as an obligation and an incentive to work on solutions for a more sustainable environment with all our might in the future,” stated the CEO. Visit:

H.B. Fuller recognised with Frost & Sullivan Innovation Leadership Award H

.B. Fuller has been recognised with a prestigious ‘New Product Innovation Leadership Award’ from Frost & Sullivan for its hot melt adhesive product innovation and technical leadership in the nonwoven hygiene market. The award recognises the development and successful commercialisation of two of its next generation, high cohesion olefin based, hot melt adhesive products, Full-CareTM 5300 and Full-CareTM 5650. For more than 125 years, H.B. Fuller has been developing and delivering innovative adhesive solutions to address major industry challenges, leveraging its expertise in the development of leading edge technology. Frost & Sullivan scrutinised Full-CareTM 5300 adhesive and Full-CareTM 5650 adhesive against innovation and technology leadership measures. The firm also thoroughly analysed the products’ value-added features and benefits and their contribution to increasing customers’ return on investment. In its analysis, Frost & Sullivan noted the effective use of H.B. Fuller’s third generation, high cohesive, polyolefin technology to create game-changing adhesive products. These technologies work across diaper construction appli-

cations and support the latest trends in diaper design (or functionality), such as ultra-thin and modified shapes. Their research also highlighted H.B. Fuller’s commitment to enhanced supply security for adhesives and its development of adhesive technologies that enable customers to do more with less. After detailed comparisons with competitors’ products, Frost & Sullivan determined that its “independent analysis of the hot melt adhesives market clearly shows that H.B. Fuller’s Full-CareTM 5300 and Full-CareTM 5650 offer superior performance with potential reduction in total cost in use ownership for the customer, which makes their products ideal upgrades from traditional adhesives in the non-woven hygiene sector.” Frost & Sullivan continued, “The easy processability, unswerving quality, augmented

bonding strength, low odour, and substrate flexibility possessed by these products put them on a higher pedestal than any other similar product in the marketplace. Hence, Frost & Sullivan is proud to present the 2013 Global New Product Innovation Leadership Award in Non-woven Hot Melt Adhesives Market to H.B. Fuller.” “This award shines a light on our commitment to innovation,” says Hassan Rmaile, chief technology and innovation officer, H.B. Fuller. “Frost & Sullivan’s independent research provides valuable recognition of the work our exceptional global team is doing to drive forward total solutions in adhesive technology that support our customers’ efforts to bring breakthrough innovations to market. We are, therefore, extremely proud to receive this recognition.” Visit:

Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the latest wave of immigrants.


ermans have the jitters. Not for once about the euro or their diminishing pension pots but about other Europeans – in this case, in their eyes, very ‘other’ Europeans. Bulgarians and Romanians are pouring into Germany ahead of a lifting in January next year of an EU edict that banned them from seeking work in western EU lands. The social tensions that have escalated – along with street crime and people smuggling – have natives in some cities in a frenzy of apprehension. In Duisburg, the old industrial city on the edge of the Ruhr in the west of the country, the left-wing mayor Soeren Link says prostitution and robberies have spiked since the EU’s latest members began arriving late last year. “We are massively affected,” said the mayor, confirming the fears of the Association of German Cities which recently warned of ‘social unrest’ because of the economic refugees. He spoke of rubbish mountains “taller than I am” outside of dilapidated housing blocks in the district where, in one, 400 Bulgarians and Romanians are crammed into just over 40 apartments. “Children are misused there and sent on stealing missions,” he claimed in a TV discussion about the problem. Germany is the continent’s most sociallyminded nation with a lavish array of welfare benefits. Some Roma families are claiming over €2000 a month in child welfare payments, even though they are technically not supposed to work in the country until January next year. “It is costing us millions and will cost us more by next year,” added Soeren, who said anyone who thought the problem was going to go away was “misty eyed.” He added: “We didn’t ask for this problem and we can’t handle it alone.” The cities of Mannheim, Berlin, Dortmund and several more have also reported rising tensions along with rubbish mountains in the poorer districts of cities where the new settlers are arriving. 24 Industry Europe

On his Facebook page the mayor of Duisberg wrote: “Platitude slogans and strong words do not help!” His outspokeness earned him the praise of citizens, including pensioner Heinz Hoffmann, 67, who said: “If my rubbish spills out on the street I would be slapped with a summons in no time. Why do they get away with it?” “The social balance and social peace is extremely endangered,” reads an internal paper produced by the German Association of Cities earlier this year. Immigration from the two countries has spiked sixfold in the past few years with the ill-educated having

Germany is the continent’s most socially-minded nation with a lavish array of welfare benefits. little or no chance of finding work while some Roma families have up to ten children and are receiving payments for each of them from the state. “The Roma in particular,” states the report, “end up in desolate conditions once they are here.” The knock-on effect is chaos also in classrooms where native children are being held back because the newcomers know no German. Police in several German towns report on organised Romanian crime gangs, where children and women are sent out each morning with specific instructions where to steal and from whom. One police report from Duisburg read: “For at least a year, observations in Duisburg (but also nationally) show that Romanian groups – apparently family clans – are committing organised crimes on an alarming scale.” In 2007 there were 31,596 immigrants into Germany from the two countries and a further 83,000 arrived in the following three years. In 2011 alone nearly 64,000 arrived from Romania and Bulgaria.

Policing together In October police from Bulgaria were drafted into Dortmund. The Bulgarian officers are assisting their German counterparts in fighting back against a spike in burglary, pickpocketing and the theft of metal such as copper from railway lines. Most people settling in Dortmund are economic refugees from Plovdiv and its Roma quarter. German police say their Bulgarian counterparts are valuable because they know the language, the faces and the structure of Bulgarian organised crime gangs. They are now patrolling the streets of Dortmund both in their Bulgarian police uniforms and in plainclothes. Nearly 4000 Bulgarians are officially registered with the authorities as resident in Dortmund; the true number is likely to be much higher. Police spokesman Kim Ben Freigang said: “Our colleagues are there to help us understand the Bulgarian structures and criminal clans.” Dortmund’s police chief Norbert Wesseler says he wants the cooperation with the foreign police to continue to help ‘ease’ the situation next year. He added: “We do not know how many more Bulgarians will come here. But we want to be prepared.” Curiously, it was Bulgaria which offered help before Germany asked for it because authorities in Sofia were anxious that their countrymen were all being painted as thieves, robbers, prostitutes, drug and people smugglers. Bulgarian-speaking social workers are assisting the Bulgarian police in helping people who speak no German before they fall into crime to pay their way. “People in Germany fear for their jobs and their security,” said sociologist Juergen Schuelter. “It will be interesting to see where all this plays out in Germany’s economic performance n over the next decade.”



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on continuing hostility to foreign takeovers.


urious French tyre factory workers have warned an American tycoon who wants to buy the Goodyear plant – and sack almost three quarters of the workforce – that they will ‘reduce it to ashes’ if the takeover goes ahead. A union spokesman for the Goodyear employees branded Maurice Taylor, the chairman of US tyre giant Titan International, a ‘mental defective’ for his offer to buy the loss-making factory near Amiens, northern France, then axe 865 of the 1200 jobs. The union has also rejected an earlier plan by Goodyear to accept a four-shifts-aweek system and a pay freeze to keep the plant open. Now they are refusing a proposed purchase of the plant which manufactures tyres for tractors and other farm vehicles from Mr Taylor, who is proposing to invest tens of millions of euros to guarantee employment for four years for the remaining 335 staff he has promised to keep. The workers’ venom towards the Titan International boss dates back to February this year when Mr Taylor first visited the factory after Goodyear announced it would be closing its main French plant and cutting its workforce in France by 39 per cent amid labour disputes and plunging car demand in Europe. After the visit, the disillusioned Titan boss wrote a scathing open letter to France’s industry minister Arnaud Montebourg telling him the Goodyear workers were “lazy, overpaid and talk too much.” In the letter, which he also sent out to the nation’s newspapers, Mr Taylor told Mr Montebourg: “I have visited the factory several times. The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. “They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three hours and work for three. I told the French union workers this to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!

“Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tyres. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government.” Mr Montebourg hit back with his own letter, telling Mr Taylor his comments were ‘extremist and insulting’ and that he knew nothing about France.

A union spokesman for the Goodyear employees branded Maurice Taylor, the chairman of US tyre giant Titan International, a ‘mental defective’ for his offer to buy the loss-making factory near Amiens, northern France, then axe 865 of the 1200 jobs. Now as Goodyear threatens complete closure of the factory, the minister has eaten his words and has urged the company to accept Mr Taylor’s new offer. But the workers are now as equally opposed to a takeover by Titan International as they are to complete closure of the factory by Goodyear. Union spokesman Mickael Wamen said he believed Mr Taylor’s offer was a ‘bluff’ to acquire the factory at a knock-down price then lay off all 1200 employees. He told the French media in November: “We are not falling for that trick. He is taking us all for idiots. It is out of the question that we would accept that our government helps this American mental defective to close down our factory. It is a scandal, and we guarantee that if Mr Taylor buys this factory, it will be in ashes.”

Peugeot plan Meanwhile, Mr Montebourg is also trying to play down the prospect of more foreign takeovers in France after the media

claimed that loss-making car giant PSA Peugeot Citroen was in talks with China’s Dongfeng and the French government over a capital increase. Under the proposed deal, the stateowned Dongfeng Motor Company and the French government would each contribute 1.5 billion euros and acquire 20 to 30 per cent of the car-maker, sources close to the matter have said. The plan would mean the Peugeot family would lose control of the company because the cash injection would dilute its 25.4 per cent stake and 38.1 per cent in voting rights. But Mr Montebourg insisted in an interview with French daily Le Parisien that PSA ‘would remain a French company’. Asked if that meant there would be no Chinese investment in Peugeot’s capital, Montebourg said: “I didn’t say that. What I’m saying is that the company will stay in France and will remain French.” Peugeot has confirmed it is studying new industrial and commercial projects with different partners but has not given any details and has not confirmed talks over the three billion euro capital increase plan. Paris-based Peugeot, which is slashing jobs and plant capacity, entered an alliance with General Motors last year and sold a stake to the US car-maker in a one billion euro capital increase. GM scaled back cooperation with Peugeot months into their alliance and later turned down a government-backed merger, industry sources said. The Peugeot family has hinted that it is ready to give up control at the company in order to save up to 8000 jobs and close down its oldest plant to the north of Paris. France’s financial daily newspaper Les Echos said: “The workers may not like it, but for Goodyear, Peugeot, and many others in n France, it’s foreign or bust.” Industry Europe 25

TIER-1 AEROSPACE SUPPLIER A specialist in the development of composite components and systems for civil aircraft, Austria-based FACC maintains its position as a tier-1 supplier. In fact, no other organisation in this field of industry has lightweight composite components installed in so many different aircraft models.

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eadquartered in Ried, Austria, FACC also has four other production plants in the immediate vicinity and locations in Europe, Asia and the Americas. It also has an independent design centre in Vienna and engineering offices in Bratislava and Shanghai. Furthermore, in September 2013 it officially opened a new Technology Centre at its St Martin location in Upper Austria. In future this will serve to house all the company’s global R&D activities. FACC boasts an extensive product range. It offers everything from aircraft fairings to fuselages and wings, engine and engine nacelle components and complete aircraft cabins. The company covers the entire valueadded chain of modern supply production – from conception and design, to manufacturing and full serial production. Following a 2009 takeover by the firm Osterreichische Salinen AG, FACC reorganised its

business structure and divided its operations into its current three core business areas aerostructures, engines & nacelles and interiors.

Major clients FACC’s customers include all leading manufacturers of aircraft and aircraft engines. For example, it recently handed over the 100th shipset of wing spoilers for the 787 Dreamliner to its customer Boeing Seattle. As a tier-1 supplier to Boeing, FACC is responsible for the manufacture of the 14 spoilers and two flaperon hinge panels of the 787 Dreamliner. Delivery of the 100th shipset of spoilers marks an important milestone in FACC’s participation in the 787 programme which – after several years of production ramp-up is now recording a steady increase in production rates. This year (2013) FACC has also been cooperating with Bombardier Aerospace. The Canadian aircraft manufacturer has

selected FACC as a supplier for its new aircraft, the Global 7000 and Global 8000 aircraft. It is responsible for the development and manufacture of the wing-to-body fairings for the two models, which are currently in the development phase. FACC components from all three of its divisions were also onboard the Airbus A350 XWB when it completed its first flight in June 2013. FACC Engines & Nacelles supplied weight-optimised translating sleeves and engine components; FACC Interiors provided passenger door lining, smoke detection covers and overhead stowage compartments; and finally the spoilers and winglets were supplied by FACC Aerostructures.

Continued growth In R&D especially, FACC has continued to develop its processes and capabilities. In 2013 it announced that it would be investing

Industry Europe 25

up to €100 million in research and development of hi-tech components. The company’s aim, in terms of R&D, is focused on longterm development to improve its offering and keep costs favourable – with less weight and better performance. By working with partners in emerging countries, in Asia and elsewhere, costs can be kept down, and FACC is also working to develop new materials sources in those countries – avoiding the additional costs of importing materials from the West. A company spokesperson underlines the importance of such collaborations to the company. “We strongly believe in partnerships – for instance in metal parts, where we have

no competence, we have reduced our suppliers to a key few, with large volumes. They are participating in new contracts and take on engineering work for us. We have partnerships all over the world, but are still also looking at new markets.” But above all, FACC’s aim is to further develop its position in the sector, to develop all its product lines and increase complexity and to offer more complete solutions. “Big companies will continue to present us with a challenge – Premium Aerotech, Alenia, GKN and others. We may be small, but we are still one of the top 20, and we will work to retain that position as a tier-1 supplier.” n

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Asco Industries is a global leader in the design and manufacture of wing movables (Slat & Flap support systems) for commercial, regional and military jets. Philip Yorke talked to Ivan Remels, the company’s CCO, about its latest investments in the US, its drive to enter new market sectors and strategy for further global expansion.


sco Industries is a global leader in the design and manufacture of wing movables (Slat & Flap support systems) for commercial, regional and military jets. Philip Yorke talked to Ivan Remels, the company’s CCO, about its latest investments in the US, its drive to enter new market sectors and strategy for further global expansion. Asco Industries was founded by Emile Boas (senior) in Zaventem, Belgium in 1954 and began life as a supplier of components for a broad spectrum of military applications. However, when his son Roger Boas took over the management of the company it turned its focus towards the aerospace industry which today is the only market sector that the company serves. Currently the company is managed by Christian Boas, the third generation descendent of the founder. His leadership has heralded a major expansion programme for the company. As a result, Asco Industries

has made a major leap forward supplying its products to virtually all of the biggest and newest commercial jetliners, such as the Airbus A380 and A350XWB, the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’, Bombardier ‘C-Series’ and Embraer E-Jets. In addition to winning contracts on all commercial Airbus (320) singleaisle and Boeing (737) narrow-bodies, as well as the larger business jet manufacturing companies such as Bombardier, Dassault and Gulfstream. Today Asco Industries is continuing to set itself ambitious targets for future growth and expects to almost double its turnover in the next couple of years. This means the $300 million annual turnover it achieved in 2011 will increase to over half a billion US$ by end of 2015. Staff levels will also increase importantly from the 1,300 people currently employed at its key manufacturing sites in Belgium, Germany and Canada.

Innovative technology leading the field Asco is constantly looking for new and innovative high-tech solutions to support its customers’ own research and development programmes. In partnership with its clients and academia, the company has produced countless award winning products. This strong partnership approach has helped Asco to become a major player within the International Aerospace community. The company places a high priority on building strong relationships with its customers in a way that benefits all parties and enables it to deliver cutting-edge, high quality, cost-effective solutions. Asco is a third generation family business and, as such, the company has always been aware of its responsibilities towards its employees, customers and suppliers, as well as to the wider community. This broad culture of commitment has helped Asco to build steadily upon its leading global position

in ‘high-lift’ wing devices, movables deployment mechanisms and support systems for today’s modern jetliners. The company is very committed to the continuous development of new technology to improve the aerodynamics of future aircraft in a way that results in substantially enhanced performance, greater fuel economy and reducing its overall ecological footprint. Remels said, “Our ability to produce in high performance/speed, very complex, high-precision aircraft components from high-strength materials sets us apart from our competitors. This is because such hard metals, primarily titanium, are very difficult to

machine to the tolerances required. In fact last year our consumption of titanium material (forgings and plate) solely for the aerospace industry exceeded 1,000 tons, making us – beside engine applications – a world leading user of this unique raw material. Furthermore, as composites are featuring more and more in new aircraft design, these need to be married successfully with metal components. Favourably for us, this is perfectly doable with titanium, not so evident with more conventional metals and alloys. Such new interface and hybrid technology will keep ASCO well ahead of future competitors and enhances our status as the supplier of choice in our sector.”

Remels added, “We are not only focussed on the design and build of critical parts for wings of mainly commercial and regional jets, but also heavily involved in build-toprint sub-assemblies for landing gears and aerostructures. Lately we are fast extending our global reach and presence. This is especially evident in South America where ASCO has been selected as partner for the Wing Movables of the E2 second generation of E-Jets for Embraer. We will provide them with advanced technology, tailor-made wing flap and slat support mechanisms. Our Canadian subsidiary moved successfully into the market segment of military aircraft, supplying key

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structures for the new Lockheed-Martin F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter). In Europe we operate as an Airbus Military partner on the new A400M tactical aircraft. “What’s particularly exciting is our latest major investment in a new ASCO plant in Stillwater, Oklahoma which will extend our manufacturing capabilities in North-America. We purchased the site from the makers of Mercury power boat engines; it extends to more than 66,000 square metres. We are completely re-building and re-equipping the complex to suit our specific needs. Main focus is the Asco US customer base, such as Boeing and Spirit Aerosystems. This brand new equipped (one-stop) facility brings ASCO within closer reach of both existing and new local customers. Today we push integration forward in the

value chain, aiming for larger work packages, including and capitalizing on our unique design and aftermarket capabilities and services. This success contributes to sustainably maintain our profitable growth momentum. Upon our forward order intake backlog, which at the moment enjoys historical record levels.”

Meeting future expectations today State-of-the-art ASCO production facilities in Belgium, Germany, Canada and shortly the USA, all reflect its strategy for the future. Provide best industry practices to its customers’ current and future expectations, whilst enhancing mutually beneficial business relationships. Thanks to its very substantial investments in new high-performance manufacturing technologies, Asco is able to master ever-tougher requirements on highly complex components in a variety of materials. The company is vertically integrated with the most modern facilities in machining, heat and surface treatment and sub-assembly lines, supported by its proper well established, globally competitive Supply Chain. Which optimally fulfils its customers’ product and process requirements, not only for today but successfully address any future challenges its clients will face.

All Asco facilities pay special attention to lean operating units, maximally optimized for flow, mastered by modern manufacturing ERP Systems including on-line production tracking, equipment efficiency monitoring and a build-in quality (statistical process control). Uptime of Asco equipment is continuously improved by optimal concept choices (incl. FMS), continuous improvements through its extensive Engineering resources, focus on preventive maintenance programmes and industry-leading fast change-over systems. n For further information about Asco Industries’ innovative products and services visit:

Arthur D. Little Kurt Baes, Partner at Arthur D. Little and long-term strategic advisor to Asco, adds his perspective: “The company’s top management has transformed the firm into a global integrated player, combining strong production units with corporate functions that have a global footprint. Providing seamless integration of all of its operations provides premium customer value, reflected in Asco’s ability to achieve sustainable growth.”

MASTERS OF COMPLEX EXTRUSION TECHNOLOGY Martinrea Honsel is a technology leader in the production of complex aluminium profiles. Philip Yorke talked to Hans Juergen Schulte, the company’s sales manager, about its development of novel alloys and unrivalled capabilities for the production of complex lightweight geometries and cost-effective solutions.

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artinrea Honsel can trace its roots back to 1908 when Fritz Honsel founded “Fritz-Honsel Gravieranstalt und Formenmacherei” in Werdohl, Germany. Initially the company focused on the manufacture of fabricated permanent mould and high pressure die castings before making the strategic decision to move also

into extrusion profiles. It was in 1958 that Honsel’s first state-of-the-art extrusion plant was built on its original production site in Meschede, Germany. Since those formative years the company’s reputation for high-quality, innovative extrusions has grown and has attracted many of Europe’s leading OEMs, as well as their tier-one and tier two suppliers. Today, after the majority acquisiton of Honsel by Martinrea International Inc. in 2011, Martinrea Honsel’s extrusion plant employs around 250 people and in 2012 recorded sales of more than €70 million.

Delivering a competitive advantage Today Martinrea Honsel is a technology leader in the development and production of full, semi-hollow and hollow aluminium profiles. These include extruded profiles with very complex geometries, close tolerances and special mechanical properties. The company works in close partnership with its customers in order to develop the most energy-efficient, lightweight engineering solutions. With many decades experience in advanced extrusion technology, Martinrea Honsel offers unique know-how that provides its clients with the competitive advantage they need to remain at the forefront of their business sector. 34 Industry Europe

Mr Schulte said, “Over 60 per cent of our business is dedicated to supplying the automotive industry’s leading OEMs and their contractors. However, our other two business units are also very important to us, and both the mechanical engineering and electronic divisions are continuing to see consistent growth. Our company’s speciality is its ability to achieve ever finer tolerances and enhanced precision in lightweight extrusions, while at the same time developing new technologies that optimise the performance of our products. We are a relatively small producer by international standards with a capacity of around 18,000 tonnes per year. However, this must be seen in context as we do not compete with the big, high-volume standard-component producers. “As technology leaders in our field we are niche providers at the top end of the market. We offer our customers in-depth knowledge and unique, high-tech facilities, as well as specialist know-how that provides them with exceptional results. For example, we have been the partner for the development of the profiles for the space frame technology for the Audi A8 which meant the development of a revolutionary crushable new alloy designed to meet the company’s latest challenging specifications. We deliver smaller quantities

for specialised markets and are therefore able to develop more sophisticated parts and solutions. In addition, we have our own die shop for extrusion dies to ensure that we have the knowledge of die construction in house as an essential supposition for the production of high-quality extrusions. “We work very closely with our clients, our partners and our key suppliers. These include suppliers such as Trimet of Essen or Alumet in Bludenz, with whom we have developed many advanced multi-functional alloys to meet individually demanding specifications. In our mechanical engineering sector we have reduced tolerances for example for linear rails from 0.2 mm to smaller than 0.1 mm. For Volkswagen we developed another very special alloy called EN AW 2618 for their TDi diesel engines. Another example of our innovative research is the development of highperformance heat sinks with a very difficult relation of 18 : 1 between height and distance of the fins. We are able to present the heat sink as a one-piece extruded component. The profile therefore achieves outstanding cooling performance, is light and is more cost-effective than any previous solution. “We strongly believe that a programme of continuous investment in new plant and technology is vital for the well-being of our company and for our customers, in order to maintain a competitive advantage. We recently invested in the latest, state-ofthe-art furnace for heating billets which offers greater efficiency and flexibility. With the continuing recovery of the automotive

industry and the manufacturing sector in general, we see a very positive future ahead for Martinrea Honsel Extrusion Plant.”

Setting new standards in eco-friendly efficiency The global demand for safer, more powerful and increasingly economical forms of transportation continues to put pressure on the automotive industry’s manufacturers. The reduction in CO2 emissions remains the dominant issue across all manufacturing industries, in particular in the automotive sector. The greatest challenge today is the need to drastically reduce pollutant emissions, but this is against a background of a fast rising number of vehicles in use worldwide. The contribution from Martinrea Honsel lies in its

ability to create innovative lightweight engineering solutions that significantly improve the efficiency of modern cars and trucks. Martinrea Honsel has already proved that its extruded light metal solutions can meet the increasing demands and pressures facing modern vehicle manufacturing for more eco-friendly solutions. With its broad range of alloys, the company fulfils the latest industry requirements such as high strength, ductility, thermal conductivity and machinability. This all adds up to Martinrea Honsel being uniquely qualified to deliver the optimal outcomes and specifications needed by industry today. n For further details of Martinrea Honsel’s innovative aluminium extrusion products and services visit:

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END OF THE MARKET There is no space for delocalisation in the future of Marzocchi Pompe SpA, as Mr Aldo Toscano, its Sales Director, explains to Industry Europe. Thanks to its high product quality the company is even able to sell its products in China, the market where several local competitors are based. Barbara Rossi reports.

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arzocchi Pompe SpA is still very much a family company – headed by Adriano and Paolo Marzocchi, two cousins whose fathers were respectively Stefano and Guglielmo Marzocchi, the founders of the business in Bologna, northern Italy, in 1949. Over the years the company expanded its activity, which had initially been focused on the production of high-powered motorcycle suspensions, so as to also include the manufacturing of hydraulic gear pumps and gear motors, used in various industrial fields. Eventually, in 1961, two separate companies were established: Marzocchi Pompe (the gear pumps and gear motors specialist) and Mar-

zocchi SpA (whose focus was shock-absorbers). In 2006 the shock absorber business was sold, so that now the core business is entirely on external high pressure gear pumps and gear motors. Marzocchi Pompe SpA is in fact a group, wholly owning other companies, as well as having a stake in a joint-venture. Lavin, wholly owned by Marzocchi, manufactures gears and its products are used in the manufacturing process carried out by the parent company. Montirone, the joint-venture enterprise of which Marzocchi owns a 35 per cent share, is an aluminium die-cast foundry, guaranteeing Marzocchi Pompe

SpA a reliable supply of raw materials, as well as selling its products to other clients, especially in the automotive sector. The group also has a US based company: Marzocchi Pumps USA Corp, which offers the range of products of the parent company in the US market. The production companies completely belonging to the group – Marzocchi Pompe SpA, Lavin, and Pompe Marzocchi USA – have an overall workforce of 200 people. The parent company, Marzocchi Pompe SpA, is now based in Casalecchio di Reno, on the outskirts of Bologna, where it produces high quality products, with a range of pressures up

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to 300BAR. Most of the catalogue is made up of standard products, but Mr Toscano is keen to stress that “we are so focused on our product we never say no to a customer. We really endeavour to accommodate any requests, as long as the economic and technical feasibility is proven, adapting our products so as to fulfil clients’ needs. We create every year hundreds of new part numbers” “We have recently launched a new product family: Elika. This is a range of gear pumps, offering considerable benefits in terms of low noise (with a remarkable noise reduction of up to 15 dBA), low pulsations and high performance, even at low revolution. The first batch of this family, with dimensions ranging

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from 7cm3 to 35cm3 is already available on the market and within a few months we will launch pumps of other engine sizes.”

A delocalisation-free future “All of our range is Made-In-Italy, with our high vertically integrated production based in Casalecchio di Reno. This constitutes one of our main strengths, as it allows us to guarantee a high quality level. For this reason delocalisation has no place on our horizon, and this is why we only use suppliers based in Italy or in the rest of Europe, so as to make sure that we work with companies and components allowing us to guarantee, and even exceed, our high quality standards.”

There are plans for the expansion of the current production site in Casalecchio di Reno, mainly linked to new business development in the automotive sector. R&D is also carried out internally, at these same premises, using advanced equipment and programmes. All of the products are validated internally, through a demanding procedure in order to ensure high product performance. The company is ISO 9001 certified and, as Mr Toscano states “we love it when clients come to visit and audit us.” Currently the company serves the general industrial sector; the mobile industry, defined as construction, earth moving, material handling and agricultural machinery; and

the automotive field, which as mentioned is currently growing. “The automotive sector offers us a particular scope for growth, partly due to the fact that our production of small high performing gear pumps is of particular significance for this industry.” Italy is still an important geographical market, generating 35 per cent of current turnover, even in today’s economic climate. The remainder is achieved through export, with Europe – Germany and Scandinavia in particular – playing the main role. Outside Europe, leading markets are the US, China and Korea. Pompe Marzocchi SpA’s strong position on the Chinese market is particularly remarkable, as although the company’s

competitors are based all over the world, China hosts a particularly high concentration of them. “We sell our products to Chinese manufacturers who export their products abroad and, for this reason, have to provide an excellent product quality level. We are chosen because of the high product quality that we are able to offer. “I think that the balance of our geographical markets will remain by and large the same in the future, although because of our increasing sales in the automotive sector our position in Europe and the US will further strengthen. Obviously volume growth will mainly depend on foreign, rather than domestic growth. We also have and will carry on having an interest

in niche applications, as they often require products of very high quality, such as the range that we provide. “There are no plans for further acquisitions or joint-ventures. Future growth is expected to be achieved through an increase in volume sales. “Despite the current economic situation we are optimistic about the future. We will base our growth on product development, high product performance and the previously mentioned expansion with regard to the automotive sector. While many of our competitors operate at the low end of the market, our focus is on high range, high quality products; that is why we cannot and do not want to n contemplate delocalisation.”

Quality, Flexibility and Service for total customer satisfaction

F.B.N. FILTER Srl • ITALY • E-mail: •

For over 30 years TEN-FLUID srl has acquired professionalism and experience in the design and production of more than 5.000 technical gaskets according to the drawing, in sizes from 1 to 1000 mm, also a wide warehouse for O-RINGS. We work with the principal companies of several fields, and you can see our wide range of products on the website: We use high quality material: NBR – HNBR – EPDM – LIQUID SILICON – CR – CIIR – ACM – FKM – FVMQ – VMQ – NR – SBR – AEM – RUBBER FOR METALPARTS – THERMOPLASTIC MATERIAL PA66, TPE, TPU, NYLON and SPECIAL COMPOUNDS elaborated according to the requirement of the customer and also certificated according to the main international norms: FDA – KTW W270 – WRC – DM174 – NSF – ACS – EN549. Thanks to continue activities of improvement , TEN-FLUID has established UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 for the quality, ISO 14001:2004 for environmental system, and ISO TS 16949:2009 for automotive sector.

Via Betty Ambiveri, 38 24060 Villongo (BG)

• • •

Tel: +39 035 926363 Fax: +39 035 926300 E-mail:

Industry Europe 39

40 Industry Europe


GAS SPRINGS Stromsholmen is a global leader in the design and manufacture of industrial gas springs with a clear focus on the automotive industry. Industry Europe looks at its latest innovative products and plans to move into new market sectors.


tromsholmen was founded in Tranas, Sweden in 1876 and over the years has been responsible for the development of many ground-breaking engineering products. However in 1983 its pioneering development of the gas spring for press tool applications exceeded all previous engineering achievements. At a stroke, it became the world leader in gas spring technology and its brand, ‘Kaller’, is synonymous with exceptional quality and reliability. Since that time, the company has focused exclusively on the development and introduction of new and advanced gas spring products in close cooperation with its customers. The company is present across every continent and its distributors and dealers stock the full range of Kaller products worldwide, whilst at the same time guaranteeing just-in-time deliveries and on-the-spot service. Its headquarters are based in Sweden and from there its full range of products is manufactured for its markets worldwide. Stromsholmen AB is a member of the Barnes Group, a US corporation with more than 5000 employees. This strong financial resource continues to guarantee the company’s place at the forefront of its specialised business sector.

Innovation and service Many years of innovative development has resulted in a range of products that have established an international reputation for quality, reliability and cost-effectiveness. All the company’s products are life- cycle tested to withstand two million cycles and provide built-in safety features that exceed

the relevant requirements laid down by TUV, SA and DRIR regulators. Gas springs offer a clear advantage over mechanical springs and provide particularly effective solutions where high force and compact dimensions are required. This explains why Stromsholmen’s branded ‘Kaller’ gas springs can be found in the world’s leading makes of automobiles, as well as in dump trucks, waste compressors and industrial robots. Kaller gas springs provide full load on contact without the need to pre-load. Other advantages over mechanical coil springs are that they offer greater tonnage per diameter and as a result can replace the work of several mechanical coil springs. In addition, gas spring output force can be easily and simply adjusted. Gas springs are utilised in 90 per cent of all press tool applications for the tool and die market worldwide. Of these, over 80 per cent go into specialised tools for automotive industry components. The balance is used in the white goods industry and in a wide range of steel formulation products. “Our advanced gas springs guarantee to achieve more force in less space than other products, thus saving costs and minimising waste. In addition, this is combined with the exceptional safety factor that we build into each and every product,” said a company spokesperson. “We take pride in everything we do including the dedication to our customers through our global distribution and services network as well as with our comprehensive service directory. We are also environmentally aware and some years ago moved from

Stenbergs Since 1919, Stenbergs has provided the Swedish engineering industry with leading machine tools technology and is today the exclusive dealer of Okuma CNC machines for the Swedish market. Stenberg’s most important task is to develop its customers productivity and profitability through a long lasting working relationship. Stenberg’s offerings shall always contain innovative solutions based on the latest technology together with an outstanding service, knowhow and experience. Stenbergs and Strömsholmen have worked together since the 1980’s where Stenbergs was the first company to introduce robotized and automated cells with CNC machines to Strömsholmen. The collaboration has continued and the companies have jointly developed different types of machine configurations with focus on complete solutions with all required functions integrated in robot cells. As an example, brush grinding and air blowing of details are made in the robot cells serving the CNC machines. The latest machine, an Okuma LT3000, is served with a ‘flexible and easy-to- handle’ vision-guided robot cell. The automation solution enables a quick set-up of new products and it will be easy to add more functions like washing and measuring to the cell in the future.

hard chrome piston rods to chrome-free products whilst maintaining the highest quality standards in reliability and longevity of the product’s life cycle.” Stromsholmen continuously introduces new products or improves on existing ranges. In September this year (2013), for example, it launched a new extremely compact and powerful piston rod sealed gas spring series, the KALLER Compact Xtreme CX. With its compact build height and cylinder diameters, the CX gas spring can reach extreme initial forces, ranging from 5100 N to 19,200 N with stroke lengths up to 80mm.

Highly automated production and testing Stromsholmen has continuously invested in state-of-the-art production technologies to keep it ahead of its competitors and be able to offer economies of scale to its customers. The company’s machining resources are a customer’s guarantee of consistent quality. Furthermore, Kaller gas springs are designed, manufactured and tested according to PED 97/23/EC for two million full cycles. This testing procedure is done at the highest allowed charging pressure and running temperature and applies to all specified mounting methods. The Kaller unique ‘Flex Guide’ system absorbs

lateral piston rod movements and reduces friction as well as lowering the operating temperature. This in turn prolongs service life and allows the use of a higher number of piston strokes per minute. Kaller has also developed a unique ‘over-stroke’ protection system that significantly adds to the reliability and safety of its products. The cylinder wall is designed to deform in a predetermined way, thus venting the internal gas pressure in a controlled manner. In addition the company has also designed an over-load protection system which has an integral safety stop feature and an over-pressure protection system, which is designed to efficiently vent excessive gas pressure.

Continuing global expansion Stromsholmen is continuing to invest in the emerging markets of the world, in particular Asia. The company spokesperson added, “We are always looking to acquire companies that subscribe to the same high standards as we do and provide us with the synergies required for strong growth. However, we expect to continue to grow organically with much of our growth coming from the Asian markets and in particular China. “We also plan to expand our business by entering into new market segments, a

good example of which is our success in the large, earth moving sector where the need for heavy duty gas springs is a growing requirement. In addition, we are involved in designing products for military vehicles such as tanks and personnel carriers as well as for heavy construction equipment. We can make a difference because of our in-depth knowledge of vehicle dynamics and knowhow gained in the automotive industry.” n

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ON THE ROAD Europe’s leading manufacturer of motorhomes and caravans HYMER is enjoying an increasingly global footprint as it meets the challenges of a market that is on its own journey. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to HYMER managing director, Jorg Reithmeier, to find out more.


YMER is Europe’s leading manufacturer of motorhomes and caravans. It is part of the HYMER Group which includes such well-known and well-loved brands as HYMER, Eriba, Bürstner, Dethleffs, Laika, LMC, Niesmann+Bischoff, Carado and Sunlight in its ownership, as well as Europe´s largest motorhome rental McRent and the accessories specialist MOVERA. The Group has unrivalled knowledge of the recreational vehicle (RV) market. Offering a large range of vehicles from ‘beginner’ RVs right up to premium vehicles, all with recognised brands that have been known on the market for many years, HYMER Group is able to deliver to all sectors of the market, both across Europe and, increasingly, worldwide. HYMER Group generated €1.3 billion in revenue from over 33,000 motorhomes and caravans sold in the fiscal year 2011/2012. The company employs more than 4000 people in Europe. These figures show that, even though the RV market in Europe has been stagnating for the past five years and is, in some areas, in decline, HYMER Group has been able to continue its impressive performance as the market leader.

Leading the way Managing director of the HYMER brand Jorg Reithmeier told Industry Europe how he believes this is being achieved. He said,

“We are certainly in a difficult market at the moment but as the leading player across Europe with a growing presence in global markets including the USA, we are focusing on customer-led RV. We are continuously working on meeting the challenges of the market, with different approaches for different geographical areas, and, as a Group, we are well-positioned to serve our customers better than any other player.” Mr Reithmeier continued, “I am totally convinced that the RV market will change in the next few years and I am confident that HYMER will stay the leading player, especially as we know that we are the company that reacted the quickest to the changing demands of the industry.” These changing demands and HYMER’s rapid reaction to it is an important part of its success story. Always keeping in touch with its customers and staying committed to offering vehicles that meet these changing demands is a quality that helps set HYMER apart. Mr Reithmeier added, “Our strong portfolio of brands is integral to our success. We can provide different customers with the vehicle they want, all while staying true to our HYMER promise of quality and value for money.” In order to stay one step ahead of the changes and challenges of the RV market, HYMER has identified the ways in which it must perform over and above the competition. By offering a wider, stronger portfolio,



Euramax is a premium coil coating company with over 40 years of experience as partner for aluminium sheet material for the worldwide recreational vehicle industry. With 300 employees and production facilities in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom we focus on innovative, customized and high-quality solutions in pre-painted aluminium. Our unique Wide Paint Line enables us to precoat 2630 mm wide XXL aluminium. Our embossed and striped designs are unique in the industry.

The specialist in series production of car designs is the number one partner to the automotive industry for adhesive films and offers top quality from a single source. Skilled graphic artists create designs that meet customers’ precise requirements. After producing a prototype and the given all-clear by the client, the design goes into production using the very latest plotter systems. To cover the entire spectrum from delivery to on-site application the B-FOLIO experts have a great deal of skill in application of films. They turn a black car into a completely white one with no difficulty!

From conventional finishes in all colours and glosses to automotive metallic finishes to total design freedom, we are thinking ahead. Recently we have launched AluDesign, a revolutionary digital design coating which allows unique sidewalls designs on smoothly painted aluminium.

They are also specialists in sun protection and privacy screens. Sun protection shields the interior from UV radiation and helps reduces the heat levels. B-FOLIO has been combining imaginative ideas and high-quality film products since 2009. 30 employees provide expert advice, an unrivalled variety of design ideas, top quality production and highly-skilled application.

being more customer-orientated with both service and products, maintaining the best possible balance of price and quality and continually listening to customers, HYMER knows it will keep its leading position. Mr Reithmeier said, ”It’s about being the best in the industry. We have fantastic brand recognition across our range and it is an exciting marketing activity to maximise our brand. As our brand is so familiar to its markets, particularly in the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, we know that we are perfectly positioned to enjoy a boost in the market when it happens.”

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Quality control The marketing team at HYMER also has the advantage that all of its vehicles are manufactured in Germany. The ‘Made in Germany’ marque is a popular shorthand for high-quality, high-precision workmanship. Mr Reithmeier explained, “It’s the perfect balance for our customers to get the best product at the best price. We manufacture all of our vehicles in Germany.” The RV market leader across Europe for many years, HYMER Group is steadily boosting its global footprint. Following its tradition of acquiring complementary brands

to add to its portfolio and then integrating them carefully into the HYMER Group family, the company expects to make further strategic acquisitions as well as growing organically. Mr Reithmeier concluded, “Beyond Europe we are growing especially well in the USA and we also see opportunities in Asia. We will maintain our love of innovation as we stay close to our customers and introduce new features and products that meet the requirements of each of our markets. We have high expectations of our vehicles and we are very excited about serving our customers in the future.” n

CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT Stadco is a global tier-one supplier of ‘body-in-white’ pressings and assemblies. The company’s German operation is unique in that it is engaged exclusively by Ford of Europe to provide just-in-time assemblies in sync with Ford’s own production lines. Philip Yorke spoke to the company’s managing director, Reinhard Rupprecht, about its unique relationship with Ford and remarkable new ‘organic-based’ composites that could change the way modern vehicles are manufactured.


tadco is well known globally as a leading tier-one ‘body-in-white’ (BIW) supplier to the world’s biggest automotive OEMs. The company’s core competences include the design, production and supply of steel and aluminium stampings and the manufacture of body structures of entire BIW assemblies. This is in addition to providing a wide range of products and a broad design service facility. The company is uniquely flexible and is able to offer customers an infinite variety of all-in-one solutions that range from low-volume niche to high volume production requirements. Today Stadco offers comprehensive solutions that include product development, prototyping, design and development and specific services involving research and design. In addition the company manufactures complex stampings and provides engineering, tool procurement and the construction of complete manufacturing facilities. Stadco’s capabilities do not end with the automotive industry but are also valued by other manufacturing sectors such as the commercial vehicle market and the aerospace industries.

Synchronised success Stadco Saarlouis in Germany is where high-performance engineering and service excellence meet. Thanks to its unique in-

house expertise the company has entered an agreement with Ford of Europe to offer step-by-step productivity, which is dovetailed to fit perfectly with Ford’s own production line activities. With its high-performance capabilities and contribution from 330 fully automatic robotic systems, the result is perfect production harmony between supplier and customer. As a system supplier of BIW components to Ford of Europe since 1998, Stadco Saarlouis has become an integral part of the Ford Industrial Supplier Park. Super-efficient production processes, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and over 300 highly qualified and dedicated staff, ensure that the company’s BIW assemblies are supplied at the right time, in the right quantity and in the right quality. Stadco not only supplies components ‘just-in-time’ (JIT) but also ‘just-insequence’ (JIS) according to the customer’s specific requirements. Mr Rupprecht said, “Our exclusive manufacturing arrangement with Ford is a unique business model that provides complex body-in-white parts in perfect synchronisation with Ford’s assembly plant, which is located close to our main facility in Germany. However, we are not restricted to supply only Ford of Europe as at another plant nearby we are developing lightweight engineering products that may revolutionise passenger car manufacturing in the future.

We will be able to share this revolutionary technology not only with Ford but with other major OEMs such as Jaguar Land Rover in the UK and GM, VW etc in Europe. Mr Rupprecht added, “This research pushes the boundaries of bionic design engineering, which we started in association with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine Research in Germany. The research involves the exploitation of micro-organisms like ‘Diatoms’ or ‘deep-sea sponges’ which have unique properties combining exceptional strength with highly resistant lightweight properties. These structures can be used for strengthening body pillars, for example as glass fibre inlays. In addition, the new composite can be used for modern bumperbeam systems. This innovative concept is typical of our ability to think ‘outside the box’ and we launched the concept recently at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which generated much interest. “As a company we are committed to lowering costs and to offering optimal efficiency to our clients. This means having the capability to provide manufacturing facilities that are not only more innovative and flexible, but that can also offer significant savings compared to the in-house production facilities of the same items. This commitment to product excellence and cost-effectiveness keeps us at the forefront of our industry”.

Fast-change flexibility Stadco has developed its own quick-change production cells which enable the manufacture of components for different car types in cycle times that are tuned to the second. This exceptional efficiency requires a wide variety of special handling devices and equip-

ment, as well as tools, weld guns and grippers which are individually designed, installed and operated for each special application. Advanced industrial robots with load capacities ranging from 20 to 400kg are utilised for handling and welding operations. The fine-tuned coordinated interaction of all

the facilities involved, and the close proximity to customers, means that a maximum level of process reliability, equipment availability and productivity is achieved.

Increasing global presence Whilst Stadco Saarlouis continues to set the best example for optimal client cooperation and fulfilment, it is also leading the field in the development of innovative, sustainable lightweight materials. This not only enhances its position globally but also provides a unique product pipeline as the company continues to extend its global reach. Stadco has a major presence in the UK and it also established a technical centre in India in 2008 in order to support both its international OEMs as well as the domestic Indian automotive manufacturers. Today the company’s Indian presence is extensive and offers a wide variety of technical services as well as BIW prototype facilities. Furthermore, it provides Asian OEMs with the possibility of complete body structures and assemblies for both passenger car and commercial vehicles. In order to stay close to its global customers, Stadco continues to establish press shops and BIW assembly facilities around the world for its leading OEMs, which include Ford, GM and Jaguar Land Rover. n For further details of Stadco’s innovative products and services visit:

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stablished in Reggio Emilia in 1973, today Meta System SpA has five sites (plus head office) in Reggio Emilia and one in Mornago, Varese, from which it carries out its electronics focused activity, developing innovative ideas from product design to customer service. The company develops and produces a wide range of products and active/passive electronic security systems, as well as next-generation comfort solutions, including both hardware and software. Products are supplied with all necessary certifications and homologations. The northern Italian company, which overall employs 656 people, holds various certifications, namely quality-focused ISO 9001, environmentally focused ISO 14001, data management ISO 27001, AVSQ94 for OEM Auto Product division (ANFIA specifications),

ISO/TS 16949, and automotive SPICE (ISO/IEC 15504) for the development of software in the OEM domain. In 2012, Meta System SpA achieved a €130 million turnover, €120 million of which derived from accessories and equipment for the OEM, OES and telematic automotive market segments. The range offered to OEMs is mainly centred round safety and security products, with the former being products for the cockpit and the vehicle, and the latter regarding parking system models and accessories for comfort. In particular, in the last couple of years, the company has developed power modules, which are inverters for electric cars, having supplied and currently being involved in manufacturing battery chargers, as well as electric engine controls, for large German and

While remaining true to its Italian roots, electronic security system specialist Meta System SpA continues to expand in European and international markets, thanks to its high-quality products, innovative solutions and excellent service. Barbara Rossi speaks to the company’s CEO, Giuseppe Simonazzi.

French automotive manufacturers. The range offered to the OES sector partly overlaps with that supplied to OEMs, while the telematics solutions are mainly linked to the Italian and European insurance world, as Meta System produces black boxes sold to final users, who thanks to this equipment have the advantage of paying lower insurance premiums. These products are thus indirectly funded by the insurance sector and to date, out of the 4 million vehicles fitted with this equipment which are circulating in Europe, 3 million have installed Meta System’s boxes. The telematics range also includes products for home security, still linked to the insurance sector. As mentioned, in Reggio Emilia there are five sites, located close to each other, plus the head offices. One of these sites is

Industry Europe 53

dedicated to logistics, one is focused on R&Dt, and the remainder deal with general production. In Mornago, on the other hand, where originally the site was opened in 2006 (and then expanded in 2012) production is exclusively focused on equipment for OEMs, accompanied by R&D activities. Furthermore, there is a production plant in Shenzhen, China, which is currently manufacturing for the Italian company, but which in future, probably in 2014, will initiate production for the Chinese

automotive OEM market, in particular for European automotive manufacturers based there. While Meta System invested significantly before 2008, before the beginning of the economic downturn, since then investments have been mainly channelled into the expansion of the Mornago site, thanks to which the productive potential of the company has increased by one-third, effectively making it ready for the increase in production volumes expected for the 2014–2020 period, thanks to contracts

already signed with automotive manufacturers. Here automation has been implemented, allowing the company to greatly widen its activity in terms of design and of the number of units produced.

Riding on electrics As previously discussed, development of new products has been linked to the electric car and scooter world, for which the company has produced battery chargers for new vehicles.

The company holds various patents in this field and the first actual application of this stateof-the-art technology has been for the BMW electric car and scooter. As well as being Tier1 and Tier 2 suppliers for OEMs, Meta System supplies the OES market through importers, head offices of automotive manufacturers, or their regional or national equivalents. Geographically, Europe is the first market of the company, with obviously, due to the link to automotive manufacturers, a strong presence in Germany, where all the three main automotive players are served, followed by France and Italy. Italy is mainly significant in terms of Italian clients that distribute the products abroad. Markets in which the company is present with its products and which will 56 Industry Europe

further develop in the future include North Africa and Malaysia. Brazil is another market supplied, albeit indirectly through Italian intermediaries. Things work slightly differently for the telematics market, where Italy plays an important role, due to the link with the insurance sector. A growing pattern for telematics products is also been experienced in the UK, as well as in South Africa, while in the future scope for growth in this area will be particularly significant in Russia. When talking about future developments, Mr Simonazzi says, “These are the market segments within whose boundaries we will carry on operating in the future, with the telematics range experiencing a particularly important growth. In terms of the OEM production we do not expect surprises, as here planning times

are longer, and we already have the contracts for the period 2014–2020. At least for the next few years, growth in production for the OEM sector will still be due to European automotive manufacturers, mainly German, French and Italian. Certainly further OEM development will require an increase of our critical mass. We’ll see what action to take with regard to this, depending on the opportunities that will arise. In future, we will develop in terms of new products and new markets. Whilst in the telematics sector we will acquire new clients and new geographical markets, with regard to OEMs we will look for new clients, but this also means taking advantage of the new opportunities arising from existing clients, in terms of new vehicles and platforms, which for us is n equivalent to acquiring a new customer.”

THE TRUE ALL-ROUNDER OF CONSTRUCTION SPECIALISTS Lindner is a global leader in the design and manufacture of individual modular solutions for interior fit-out and the building envelope. Philip Yorke talked to Helmut Lang, the company’s main board director for commercial development, about its dynamic growth and the latest innovations, such as graphite ceiling systems, which are changing the face of modern construction.


he Lindner Group is one of the world’s leading companies for interior fit-out, facade construction and industrial insulation projects. The company was founded in Arnstorf, Germany in 1965 by Hans Lindner who had a vision: this was to offer the construction industry ‘seamless’ solutions for entire buildings. By now, this vision has become a reality and is endorsed by the company’s involvement in many of the world’s most prestigious developments. These include major installations at international airports, railways, hospitals and hotels, as well as in leading concert halls and even luxury cruise liners. Today the company’s unparalleled expertise makes Lindner the partner of choice for the supply of customised interior solutions. These are sometimes combined with the management of the complete building envelope, insulation and construction-related services, which is represented by the company’s inimitable range of capabilities, “Concepts-ProductsService”. With a current workforce of more than 6000 people, the family-owned Lindner Group operates state-of-the-art production plants and subsidiaries in more than 20 countries worldwide, from Atlanta to Zagreb. This

also includes specialist companies such as the envelope experts Lindner Facades Ltd and Prater Ltd in London as well as Lindner Saudi Arabia Ltd offering industrial insulation services.

Innovative system solutions driving sales Whether it is outstanding functionality combined with modern architecture and design, or unique innovative solutions, Lindner’s projectspecific designs are guaranteed to meet a client’s exacting requirements. For example, the design of amenities such as exclusive lounges, modern offices, medical facilities and auditoria are all based on over 45 years of experience in the use of environmentally friendly, state-ofthe-art technologies and comply with the most stringent international quality standards. Also the wide range of products like facades, floor and ceiling systems, partitions, heating and cooling technologies and construction-related services from green building consulting to scaffolding, makes the Bavarian company the partner of choice. Lindner’s high-capacity production facilities ensure that customers receive optimised products and services, on time, every time. Through detailed planning and imple-

mentation processes, Lindner is selected to erect iconic buildings all over the world. The implementation of Copenhagen’s Danish Radio Concert Hall, the roofing of London’s Olympic Velodrome and the complete fit-out of the Dubai Metro Line are just a few recent examples of these global prestige projects. Mr Lang said, “Design, innovation and our unrivalled experience have kept us at the forefront of our industry. To underscore the importance that we attach to new product development, we employ more than 200 people at our extensive R&D facilities here in Arnstorf, Germany where we have a stateof-the-art production facility that covers more than 160,000m2. This is our largest global production facility, but we also have similar manufacturing plants in Taicang, China, as well as in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where we also work to German quality standards. We are definitely not into typical mass production projects.” For example, Lindner has worked in recent times in Azerbaijanian Baku on their new signature building, Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev cultural centre, for which the company had to develop a corner-free “internal skin” – an adaptable substructure with a three-

dimensionally curved surface – to transfer the external design into the interior. Mr Lang added, “As a truly vertically integrated company we can do literally everything ourselves from the initial design concept to the manufacture and installation on-site. In fact we can take care of the entire value chain for customers. This means that our clients only need one supplier and one point of reference, which is a major advantage these days.” It is an advantage especially acknowledged when it comes to integral planning and implementation processes for large-scale new constructions or high-class refurbishments, sometimes in conjunction with an aspired green building certification. This is when the one-stop-shop Lindner – internal departments would even take care of specialist jobs like building decontamination – creates its added value for the client by reducing the complexity of the enormous task.

Buildings without interfaces and using the latest technologies Hans Lindner’s original vision of an entire building that is designed and constructed without interfaces has become reality and

in a most spectacular way. The Lindner System Buildings combine the highly desirable concept of prefabricated, modular construction with unlimited spatial planning options. This cutting-edge technology means that the building can be adapted to any client’s specific requirements while maintaining the advantage of rapid on-site erection. The system is based upon a heavy-duty steel frame structure that offers unlimited scope: extraordinarily wide unsupported spans and variable ceiling height enable infinite options of reversible floor layouts (dependent on fit-out), a flexible solution tailored to the builder’s individual requirements. Beside the System Buildings, one of the Lindner Group’s most exciting innovative developments at this time is the unique graphitebased Lindner Plafotherm® chilled ceiling. “This is a ground-breaking development which offers significant benefits to developers in terms of its overall lightness, an accelerated temperature regulation with significant energy savings and enhanced comfort for occupants. We have entered into a joint venture with renowned SGL Carbon to drive this technology forward, which we see as being trend-setting for industrial ceilings worldwide. The natural product

graphite and its derivative, expanded graphite, fit perfectly with our commitment to sustainability and our protection of the environment. We are a founding member of the DGNB, the German Sustainable Building Council, and, as a responsible manufacturer, we run numerous internal research projects aiming for a longterm reduction of energy consumption and avoidable emissions.” The continuous striving for well-balanced, sustainable solutions, based upon resourceconserving high-quality products and customised services is characteristic of the market approach of the Lindner Group. For instance, one of Lindner’s bestsellers, calcium sulphate flooring NORTEC and FLOOR and more®, is made of 99 per cent recycled materials. But it’s much more than just ‘green’. The floor impresses just as much by its versatility and resilience: it can be equipped with integrated heating and cooling technologies or acoustic elements, and it can carry incredibly high weights for decades – a solution individually designed and manufactured for each client. n For further information about Lindner’s latest innovative concepts, products and services visit:

HACVR AND ENERGY PLANT, ENGINEERING AND CONTRACTING “Cefla Plant Group is the Engineering and Contracting Division of the Italian Cefla Group, headquartered in Imola in the Italian province of Bologna. It is the oldest of the Cefla Divisions, established 80 years ago and with a 2012 consolidated turnover of €90 million – one quarter of the total Cefla Group’s turnover,” said Mr Gaetano Tagliaferri, Cefla Plant Group managing director.

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rom its origins, the Holing Cefla Group has never stopped growing and now operates in several different regions throughout the world: in 2012 Cefla reached a consolidated turnover of €360 million. More than 50 per cent of its projects are abroad, with production plants and offices in Europe, USA, Russia and China. The other group divisions include industrial manufacturing for dental equipment (leader in Europe), robots for wood finishing (global leader) and furniture for malls and shopping centres (leader in Italy). Cefla Plant Group acts as a general contractor specialised in the supply of turnkey plant and equipment in two different areas, construction and energy, in particular: - HACVR systems (heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration systems), Sanitary systems, Electrical Plant and Special systems (security, video, access control) - Power, cogeneration and trigeneration plant, turbine or endothermic engines powered with gas and by renewable sources, such as biogas, solid biomasses and agricultural and urban waste.”

In each of these diversified fields it offers a full service to its customers, from the feasibility study to the preliminary and executive design, from project execution to the full maintenance services following plant handover and through its entire lifetime. “In particular, the range of after-sales services we provide to our customers is what makes us stand out from the crowd. It is a global service supplied by highly skilled staff and it amounts to about 35 per cent of Cefla Plant Group turnover. A team of 60 qualified technicians are involved in the maintenance activity with different operation sites throughout the Italian territory,” said Mr Tagliaferri.

Activities and geographical presence The activities of the Cefla Plant Group are focused on different applications. “In the civil field, we supply our HAVCR, Sanitary Systems, Electrical and Special Plants to realestate companies, schools, hotels, hospitals, historical buildings and shopping centres. We sometimes provide both furniture solutions, from our sister company, and engineering systems,” explained Mr Tagliaferri.

“Cefla has proudly been involved in prestigious projects in each specific area for full design, construction and maintenance systems. Projects we have recently completed include: the new headquarters, for around 4500 employees, of the UNICREDIT Bank Group in Porta Nuova, Milan, commissioned by the HINES International Real-Estate Company; new headquarters, for around 1000 employers, of UNIPOL INSURANCE and FINANNCE GROUP in Bologna; the revamping of historical buildings such as la Scala theatre and Sforzesco Castle in Milan; and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. “In the energy sector, on the other hand, our clients are usually consumers of heat and electrical energy who request power provided by a cogeneration plant: the ceramic, paper, food, pharmaceutical industries (normal gas and biogas); agro – livestock farms (biogas from agricultural by-product) and multi-utilities and waste energy companies. Cefla has produced cogeneration plants for a total capacity of around 300 megawatt and has actually under its operation maintenance plants for 260 megawatts.” Industry Europe 61

Since 1971 S.I.A.T. has been designing and manufacturing Aeromechanical systems and related equipments. The studies and projects are carried out by highly qualified technicians, with a long and distinctive experience, acquired through the making of numerous systems and equipments, also in partnership with international technical offices. The organisation of our company complies with UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 requirements. Dedusting systems – Fume and vapour scrubbing systems. Dedusting stations and systems for the treatment of industrial pollution aimed at obtaining healthier and more welcoming work environments, employing amongst the most efficient and modern equipment, wholly of our own design or as licensed products. Industrial ventilation and heating-ventilation systems – Air control systems- Air conditioning systems. Design and production of “turn-key” ventilation and thermo-ventilation industrial systems, air conditioning, air control etc. for any need and type of building. Painting and drying spray-booths and systems. Design and installation of custom made spray booths and automatic painting stations, complete with emission extraction and filtration, for both dry and humid emissions, and relevant fresh air intake systems. Different and complementary equipment. We design and manufacture all the major components of our systems, namely fabric, wet, Venturi system, electrostatic, fume and vapour, and sintered filters (etc.) as well as centrifugal separators, special ventilators, extraction/filtration benches, mobile extraction and self-cleaning attachments, and other similar accessories.

S.I.A.T. SpA | Tel.: +39 0121 342 111 | Fax: +39 0121 542681 | E-mail: |

In the Energy sector Cefla’s maintenance activity is very important and not limited to power plants but also extended to the closed sector of oil & gas both up- and downstream. The ENI Group recently awarded the Cefla Plant Group with a contract for the maintenance, over a two-year period, of 260 engines of varying brands (Caterpillar, VM, Waukesha and so on) located at different ENI operation sites, on all national territory. According to managing director Mr Tagliaferri, “The business of the Cefla Plant Group is mainly carried out within Italy itself where, despite the Italian economic crisis, Cefla has been able to face these difficult times thanks to the diversity of the sectors in which it operates. Governed by our headquarters in Imola/ Bologna, our branch offices and operation sites are spread from the north to the south of Italy: Milan, Campobasso, Rome, Matera/ Taranto. Up to now we have approached the foreign markets by following only specific marketing opportunities in the ceramic sector (Thailand, Turkey, Colombia) and hydroelectric

plants (Laos). Last year we started dealing with foreign markets more methodically by carefully selecting the area, client and products. In particular, our business abroad is focused on the provision of systems and plants for the energy sector. North Africa is a real interesting opportunity, even if the present socio-political situation is not the most favourable one for business. On the other hand, we are involved in eastern Europe, and in the Gulf area.”

Recent investments A large portion of Cefla Impianti’s investment strategy is focused on human resources, which represent the really added value of the division. “This is typical of engineering companies, where human capital is crucial to the success of all activities along the chain supply, from design to the after-sales maintenance operation,” explained Mr Tagliaferri. “Moreover, we invest significantly in technological innovation in both our production process and products. In particular, in the civil sector, Cefla is focusing on the production of special systems, such as closed circuit and safety systems and IT systems; in the energy sector, we are aiming to strengthen our systems fuelled by renewable sources, such as biogas, biomasses and agricultural and urban waste.”

Future goals “Our three-year business plan 2013–15 is aimed at the further consolidation of our role as general contractor in the civil and

industrial and energy sectors, operating in partnership with a civil contractor. Over the past year, Cefla has been working with this aim and the latest result of this effort is a joint venture with the Italian Civil General Contractor Maltauro Group for the construction of the new airport in northern Italy, for which Cefla is responsible for the design, procurement, erection and testing of all HACVR systems and of the annexed cogeneration plant of 7.5 MW capacity, for a total worth €45 million,” said Mr Tagliaferri. “Another aim is to expand our turnover in the energy sector in Italy and abroad, by technological innovation in our focus sector, customised site erected power plants, and extending our presence in the area of industrialised pre-assembled systems of small-tomedium size.” The company’s main suppliers include Ferroli and ICI for boilers; Carrier, York Gruppo Johnson for frigo-absorbers; Siemens, Schneider and ABB for regulation & control and electrical panels and KSB for valves. RIGHi Elettroservizi SpA is a subcontractor. Other suppliers include Ingersoll Rand, SIAT, KSB Italia, T.C.F., Ecoline, Fiorini, Flaktwoods, Tranter International, EnviTec Biogas Italia, Comex Group, Sagemis International and Guentner. The Cefla Plant Group, considering its long mutual cooperation with suppliers and that trust which has been built up over the years, is looking forward to many more years of successful partnership. n

Via Zampeschi 119, 47122 Forlì (FC) – Italy ; e-mail:

FIORINI INDUSTRIES, a steady and virtuous growth. Fiorini Industries Group is the largest European producer of hydronic systems for heating, air conditioning and one of the most innovative companies in the field of heat transfer, renewable energy, solar thermal, low-enthalpy geothermal hybrid systems. With a 2012 consolidated turnover of €25 million, the Group currently consists of several companies and works with different brands (Fiorini, My Clima, Ebner Energietechnik, Abc, Ttt, Euroverniciatura), which operate in numerous countries throughout the world. Fiorini Industries is involved in important projects, such as the building in Saudi Arabia of world’s largest aluminium production factory and of a great gas treatment plant in Abu-Dhabi.

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Nassau Door A/S is a technology leader in the design and manufacture of overhead doors for industrial applications. Philip Yorke reports on the company’s latest generation of high-quality sectional doors, which set new standards in energy to U-values, and offer optimal insulation levels that exceed the most stringent EU building regulations. CEO Kurt Skov



assau Door was founded in Denmark in 1970 and grew quickly to become a leading player in the design and manufacture of sectional doors for industrial applications. Today the company is a member of Nielsen & Nielsen Holding, which is an international group specialising in products ranging from satellite components to beverage dispensing equipment, as well as sectional overhead doors for industry. Currently the group generates sales of more than DKK 2.3 billion, of which 85 per cent is for export markets. As part of the Nielsen & Nielsen Group, Nassau is strongly represented throughout the EU and the Middle East via its own dedicated network of local distributors.

Quality and innovation driving sales Nassau provides tailor-made, overhead door solutions for industry and offers an unparalleled design and aftermarket service. The company fields a dedicated team of consultants and specially trained fitters who guarantee optimal product functionality and durability. Nassau’s on going success is the result of being able to offer a wide variety of innovative, cost-effective products and a well-defined customer-orientated service. Innovation has always been a priority at Nassau and the company has developed a

range of highly flexible doors which enable it to supply tailor-made solutions that meet an infinite variety of operational criteria. This makes it possible to offer optimal solutions to a diverse range of industries from agriculture and logistics, to food, beverages, car showrooms, fire stations and an endless number of industrial enterprises. The company’s products are all marketed under the Nassau brand name and cover a spectrum of fully automatic and manually operated doors. Each one is designed to meet the specific needs of the customer in terms of functionality, climatic conditions, size and design. Any requirements which cannot be met by Nassau’s standard range of sectional doors are handled in-house by its own technical design department, which is able to provide the most cost-effective, optimal solution for each situation. Nassau prides itself on being able to meet any challenge when it comes to producing the best outcomes for its customers, and the success of its innovative solutions continues to drive sales worldwide.

Setting new standards in energy efficiency The search for greater energy efficiency is a goal that every company has set itself and Nassau is no exception. The company’s com-

mitment to research in this area has resulted in a remarkable new energy-efficient product, aptly named ‘Nassau Energy’. Last year Nassau launched its new generation of energyefficient sectional doors that combine optimum insulation with high light in-flow and an innovative design that offers energy to U-value of just 1.62, depending on the size of the door. These new doors offer fresh opportunities to architects and planners to create aesthetically pleasing structures that comply with the most stringent international energy requirements. Nassau’s energy efficient, patented window structure makes it possible to achieve very low U-values without compromising on functionality and design. This recent product from Nassau also helps companies to save money, protect the environment and ensure a comfortable and bright working environment for employees. The new ‘energy-efficient’ door consists of patented section type 90E, which is built as an aluminium frame with triple-pane window structures in one section, with all window exteriors and interiors being scratch resistant. The window panes are fitted on the outside of the section frame and the strong aluminium structure ensures that all sections are completely level, which in turn significantly reduces the transmission of cold air through the door.

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CEO Kurt Skov said, “In most industries today, there is a strong focus on sustainability and insulation capacity. However, it can often be difficult to achieve a low U-value whilst ensuring a sound working environment with a good inflow of light. With Nassau Energy we have created a solution that meets all these requirements and in one exclusive design.”

Diverse functionality Nassau overhead sectional doors don’t just look good, they also offer high-quality construction and a reliable functionality that meets every criterim. From its highly

insulated sectional model for intensive use (Nassau 9000F), to its elegantly designed overhead door with exceptional light properties (Nassau 9000G), there is a solution to match every industrial requirement. The Nassau 9000F model offers high durability and economy and a service-free door with a very long lifespan. This design is available with a pass door and in widths of up to 10 metres. It is also available in a rustproof version, which is ideal for environments that require high standards of hygiene and ease of cleaning. At the other end of the scale, Nassau’s

elegant 9000G model is specially designed for buildings that require a lot of natural light and where it must also be possible to see in. Therefore this model is ideal for showrooms and large product display areas. Section height can vary from 400mm to 675mm making it possible to suit the door’s styling to that of a building’s faade. The Nassau 9000G also comes with a wide range of fillings and in all finishes within the extensive RAL colour collection. NASSAU 9000M is a door where you combine the foamed 90F sections with the window sections of your choice. You can thereby create the door exactly after your prefences. NASSAU also supplies a 9000 Panorama door which is a window door with narrow window sections without vertical frames. This makes the door appear very light, and it is perfect for showrooms, car n washes etc. For further details of Nassau’s range of high-quality sectional doors and design services visit:

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Architects: Daluz/González Architekten Photo: Peter Baracchi


R Belgian Reynaers Aluminium ranks among the top three European companies in the design and development and sales of aluminium windows and doors, sliding systems, curtain walls, conservatories, sunscreens and solar systems. Marco Siebel spoke with the chief technical officer, Erik Rasker and the group communication manager, Els Fonteyne, to find out more. 68 Industry Europe

eynaers Aluminium is a family-owned company which was founded in 1965 by Jan Reynaers in Duffel, near Antwerp, Belgium. He produced windows and doors using the Classic system, an aluminium system he designed personally. This new high-quality system was so easy to process that other aluminium joiners started buying from him. Since then, Reynaers has opened offices in 37 countries, from which it exports to over 60 countries worldwide. More recent expansions within Europe concern ao. the start up of activities in Italy in 2005 and in Portugal in 2008, making inroads into Portuguese-speaking countries globally.

Architectural design: Zaha Hadid Project architect: Stephane Hof Photo: Hélène Binet

Hi-Finity sliding door

In 2012, Reynaers also acquired a Belgian paint factory. The recent entery into the African continent was another important step in the company’s global geographical expansion strategy. To this end, Reynaers has started to promote its solutions through offices in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Reynaers Aluminium employs some 1500 people, who together generated a turnover of €315 million in 2012.

Els Fonteyne explains: “Our Reynaers Institute is our knowledge centre for all our partners. It has a training centre, test zone and demonstration area. Here our staff work on new designs, develop and do all the research and testing necessary before launching and marketing a new product or product line.” Erik Rasker adds: “ Around 70 per cent of our turnover is generated in western and southern Europe. Main growth markets are

Erik Rasker, CTO

the central and eastern European countries, the Balkans, Turkey, the African continent, SEA and the Middle East. That’s where we expect double-digit growth figures.”

Aluminium windows and doors Reynaers offers aluminium window and door solutions for construction projects ranging from residential and retail to healthcare and commercial, in both classic and romantic styles to stark and modern. All systems are

Reynaers Aluminium headquarters, Duffel

Architect: Albert Wimmer ZT GmbH, Arnika, Ukrdesigngroup Photo: Nikolay Kravtsov

Architect: JSK Architektci Sp. Z o.o. Photo: Jarosław Ceborski

available in more than 400 colours and are highly secure owing to the strength of the material. A number of extra fittings can be installed for optimal security.

Hi-Finity sliding doors Reynaers recently launched a new sliding door, Hi-Finity. Innovative in style and design and with industry-leading profiles that hardly impact on the exterior view, Hi-Finity allows the internals of a building to merge seamlessly with the outdoors. The glazed units are bonded to the aluminium profiles and can accommodate large glass panels of up to 500kg. Although the large glazed areas already offer good thermal efficiency, Hi-Finity is also available in a triple glazed version to provide increased levels of thermal and acoustic insulation, further enhanced by the airtightness of the system. Special brushes with an airtight membrane create a firm barrier against air ingress and the sections between each glass panel are fitted with Reynaers’ patented adjustable profiles that guarantee a perfect fit for good airtightness. The Reynaers Hi-Finity sliding door system offers different opening options, including duo rail, three-rail and central closing for up to six movable glass panels per application. Ease of operation is enhanced by specially designed integral wheels to provide fluidity of movement, making even large openings easy to operate manually. Available as an option, an automated version opens the doors at the push of a button. In addition to its layered glass, Hi-Finity offers a secure solution with a special designed

locking mechanism on a discrete and hard-toreach position on top of the glass. Besides developing cleverly designed sliding doors and windows, Reynaers also provides other custom-made solutions for architects and fabricators: curtain walls, an in-house developed computer model for the Brise Soleil sun-screening, conservatories and covered terraces, solar systems, railings and other peripherals. Reynaers’ curtain walls cover traditional grid, panel and unitised systems. All systems are mutually compatible, allowing for the seamless integration of window, door, façade and roof systems. Reynaers designs and sells façade systems that can be used on constructions ranging from high-rise buildings to shop fronts, and from roofing to display windows.

Brise Soleil computer model for sun-screening The Reynaers Brise Soleil system is an aesthetic and practical solution for nearly all new and existing buildings. It is available as a standard system or a tailored solution. Brise Soleil is the general designation for a louvre system that is secured to the outer façade and protects against heating and glare. Reynaers Brise Soleil systems come with a software package for the simple calculation of shadow angles and the correct dimensions of the shading device for each outer wall.

Conservatories and covered terraces With a Reynaers conservatory one can enjoy light and space for 12 months a year. Reynaers aluminium conservatories have

three lines: the Functional, for example, has a simple, yet elegant appearance, whilst the Orangerie line conjures up the authentic mood of a Victorian winter garden. For romantic building styles and renovations there is the Renaissance series. In case one has no room for a conservatory, but still wishes to create a comparable atmosphere, customers can opt for a Reynaers skylight. Reynaers aluminium skylights let through sufficient light and provide thorough protection against rain and wind.

Solar systems, railings and other peripherals With its Solar product range, Reynaers offers architects and fabricators multifunctional construction materials that that can be fitted with photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. The solar system applications cater for an extensive range of products, from roof covers to curtain walls and glazed surfaces. Reynaers railings can be combined with numerous pattern and design modules, allowing for an individual railing design. Other peripheral products are screen systems, ventilation grids, shutters, gates, swimming pool fences and care products. Erik Rasker concludes: “We intend to continue our growth through organic and geographic expansion; however, when the opportunity presents, we will not hesitate to realise growth through acquisitions to strengthen our n leading market position.”

Skanska Sweden, like all the companies in the Skanska Group, is committed to leading the building and construction industry in sustainable technologies and business practices.


January 2014 more than 1000 employees of Swedish construction company Skanska will move into a new global headquarters in Stockholm. The new office building, designed and constructed by Skanska itself, is located in the Western Kungsholmen area of Stockholm, a district that is rapidly being transformed as new homes are built right up to the water’s edge, new restaurants and shops are opening and new offices are going up all along the central boulevard. The new head office is itself an excellent example of what Skanska can deliver in environmentally friendly design and construction. It features a carefully controlled

indoor climate with Skanska’s own Deep Green Cooling patented technology through which energy-efficient cooling is provided from 144 boreholes under the building. Heat in the summer is also used for pre-heating ventilation air in the winter and waste heat will be reused to provide heating for nearby homes. Environment-friendly pool cars will also be available as well as there being a large bicycle garage. Skanska even intends to install beehives on the building’s roof to help the local bee population to recover. The facility will also include the latest project visualisation technology which will allow residential customers to experience and add colour to their new homes long before

they are actually built; local politicians and planners will also be able to visualise and explore their ideas for new district developments years before they become a reality.

Across the market, across the world Skanska Sweden is one of Sweden’s largest construction companies, with operations in building and civil engineering construction. It has some 11,000 employees and its revenues in 2012 amounted to approximately SEK 30 billion. Skanska in Sweden is also active in the development of residential construction and commercial premises. The Swedish operation is, of course, part of the global Skanska Group, founded in

1887 in southern Sweden to manufacture concrete products and now one of the world’s largest construction companies, with some 57,000 employees worldwide. In Europe the Group is active not only in the Nordic markets of Sweden, Norway and Finland but also in Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the UK. It also has fast-growing operations in the USA and Latin America.

Skanska’s construction services include the building of large commercial and public buildings – office blocks, hospitals, schools, railway stations etc – bridges, roads and private homes. The company develops residential areas to include single-family and multi-family housing and takes care of all stages of these developments, from choosing the location to planning, designing, building, marketing and sales. It sees its core

competence as understanding how people want to live their lives, and creating attractive new homes to meet these demands.

From hospitals to highways The new contracts awarded to Skanska Sweden in 2013 give a good idea of the range of the division’s capabilities. At the beginning of the year Skanska signed a partnering agreement with Värmlands Läns Landsting

(County Council of the Värmland region) for the building and reconstruction at Centralsjukhuset (the Central Hospital) in Karlstad, Sweden. The contract value for the initial work is SEK 370M. During the first phase, Skanska will construct a new operating unit building, House 60, and substitute premises in the existing House 53 and House 54. The new operating unit has a total area of about 29,000m2 on four floors, including a garage. The building is constructed according to a vision in which the operating unit is built around the needs of the patient. Sustainability is of great importance when it comes to choosing materials and there are high demands for energy efficiency. The goal for the building is to be LEED Health Care certified on level Gold. Work has started, and the building is planned to be completed the summer of 2016. This order was followed by another contract to build the image and intervention centre at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. The client is Västfastigheter. This SEK 300M contract comprises construction and conversion of a total area of about 22,000m2. The image and intervention centre will com-

prise functions and medical activities using advanced methods for image diagnostics and for treatment. Skanska has been active at this hospital since 2011 with excavation, foundation-laying and frameworks, among other things. The current assignment will be the second phase, out of three, in developing the hospital. In the assignment, Skanska will make additional framework, installation and connection to the adjacent building. Work is set to start in the beginning of 2014 and is scheduled to conclude late 2015. In 2013, Skanska also won a contract from AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik, SL for the construction of a new bus depot in Charlottendal, Gustavsberg, east of Stockholm. This contract is worth SEK 375 M. The bus depot will be situated in Ekobacken 1, about two kilometres south of central Gustavsberg. It will be built to accommodate 140 buses and will, amongst other things, include a workshop, parking lots and offices. Project work has already started and construction is planned for mid-January 2014. The facility is planned to be completed in the summer of 2016.

Also adding to its road-building experience, Skanska is to construct the last part of the E6 highway in south-west Sweden. The client is Trafikverket (the Swedish Transport Administration) and the contract is worth SEK 453 M. The E6 road is an important infrastructure link between the Öresund, Gothenburg and Oslo regions. The last part that Skanska will complete is 7.5 kilometres, between Pålen and Tanumshede on the Swedish west coast. Construction work has started, and the road will open for traffic in the summer of 2015.

Helping to build communities Skanska’s roots in Sweden run deep – construction is largely a local activity and the company’s projects place it in numerous communities. It is committed to being a responsible and appreciated community member, based both on how it carries out its projects and on its wider contribution. Skanska believes that focused efforts are best, so it contributes what it knows and does best. It educates in safety, green building practices and technical know-how as well as n supporting relevant local activities.


THROUGH INVESTMENT Turkey’s Limak Group provides the market with clinker, cement, concrete and aggregate, all produced according to international quality standards. The group’s CEO Gültekin Aksüyek spoke to Industry Europe about its continuous commitment to investment with a focus on modernising, increasing output and improving energy efficiency.


he Limak Cement Group has the third largest manufacturing capacity amongst Turkish companies. It maintains this position through continuous capacity expansion, modernisation and energy efficiency improvements across all its factories. Having begun with the establishment of Limak Construction in 1976, the Limak Group of companies now operates in the tourism, cement, energy, infrastructure, airport management and operations, port management, food and aviation sectors. The group first entered the cement business in 2000 when it purchased the Siirt Kurtalan Cement Factory.

Its interests in the sector grew in 2006 when it bought factories in Ergani and Gaziantep by way of an asset purchase from the Turkish Savings Deposit Insurance Fund. In 2007 it acquired the Urfa cement factory from the Turkerler Group by means of a share purchase. This pattern continued with the acquisition of a cement grinding plant in Bitlis in 2008 and the Mardin-Derik cement grinding plant in 2009. This was followed by the acquisition of four cement factories located in Ankara, Balıkesir, Thrace and Ambarlı as well as 12 ready-mix concrete facilities from Set-Italcementi in 2011. Most recently the

group purchased the Egeçim cement grinding plant located in Manisa. As stated above, the group’s main production activities are in the areas of clinker, cement, concrete and aggregate. Its latest product, CEM PLUS + (flyash cement) was developed and launched from the Balıkesir cement factory and is already selling well.

Position in Turkey and abroad The Limak Group accounted for 11 per cent of the total cement produced in Turkey in 2012 and holds a nearly 12 per cent share of domestic sales as well as 7 per cent of

Industry Europe 77

Turkish cement exports. It is the country’s third largest producer of clinker, with a capacity of 6 million tonnes per annum, and secondbiggest producer of cement, with a capacity of 12 million tonnes per year in total. It is now working to increase its capacity in a number of factories to keep up with growing regional and national demand. Mr Aksüyek stated that a precalsination system and clinker production line are being planned for its Thrace and Balıkesir factories. Once these investment projects are completed in June 2014, Limak will be the second biggest clinker and cement producer in the country. The group is also in the process of establishing a new facility which already has an certified environmental impact assessment report (EIA) with 1.4 million tonnes of capacity. The plans for this are currently in the tender phase. In another location, plans are underway to set up a new plant with a capacity of 1.4 million tonnes. Both of these facilities are expected to be operational by the start of 2016 and it is expected that when this happens Limak will become the single largest clinker and cement producer in Turkey. Meanwhile the establishment of further integrated cement plants and grinding packing plants in different locations abroad continue. This continuous investment has seen Limak’s sales grow by 7.6 per cent in 2012 while Turkey’s total cement production decreased by 0.52 per cent. In terms of exports, Limak currently sells to Iraq, Syria, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia and is looking to expand into Africa in the near future. As part of its company policy, it exports the cement that is not consumed in the domestic market. In 2012 exports amounted to 10 per cent of its total sales, but this percentage is expected to increase significantly next year when foreign expansion projects are completed. For example, it plans to export

clinker from the Thrace factory after the new capacity increase in the grinding facilities which are set to be established abroad.

Dynamic Turkish construction market Mr Aksüyek said that the domestic market has been growing considerably, particularly in the wake of major urban transformation projects and the increase of land being made available for building works. He also highlighted other developments such as the easing of regulations for foreign property ownership and the construction of the new Istanbul airport, roads and other infrastructure, which has led building material suppliers to invest in increasing capacity in their existing factory as well as in building new ones. In the light of these developments, Limak expects a growth rate of 3.5–4 per cent in Turkey alone when it comes to cement production.

Environmental investments Limak Cement has already completed several rounds of investment into energy efficiency, including the establishment of a precalcination system, modern grinding systems, and new energy saving and efficiency cement mills at its integrated plants. All this is expected to bring about energy savings of 100 million kWh per annum. With regard to de-dusting investments, Limak has been installing new bag filters with low dust emissions and closed stocking areas for raw material in all its plants. To do its part in tackling the issue of global warming, new kiln investments are being implemented using low-NOx technology.

Aiming for the top Despite the company’s considerable success so far, it is clear that Mr Aksüyek and his colleagues will continue to push the company

forward by setting ambitious aims for the future. In the medium term, Limak Cement is striving to become Turkey’s number-one producer of both clinker and cement. This is underpinned by the company’s sound understanding of its sector and its executives’ belief that it can continue to make an important contribution through its innovative and solutions-based approach and environmentally friendly products. When it comes to the global economic crisis, the Limak Group’s management has not allowed it to impede growth. There are no plans to slow or postpone any of its investment plans. As for its global ambitions, Mr Aksüyek is confident that the firm is well placed to become a heavyweight global player thanks to its new approach to investment in developing countries aimed at acquiring existing factories and, when n needed, building new ones.

INDOOR AIR SOLUTIONS Swegon is a part of the Latour Group and a European leader in the design and installation of indoor ventilation and climate control systems. Industry Europe looks at how it stays ahead of the competition.


wegon is based in Sweden and is a global exporter of ventilation systems and indoor climate solutions. It has three factories in Sweden, as well as one in Finland and one in Italy. In September this year (2013) it acquired the Swiss company RCS AG, which is active in the distribution and servicing of cooling and heating equipment. Furthermore, the company has its own sales offices located at 19 different locations worldwide. In addition to its factories and offices in Europe and Scandinavia, the Swegon Group has offices in the USA and the United Arab Emirates, with exclusive distributors in many more countries worldwide.

Advancing air-cooling technology Swegon is one of the world’s leading suppliers of energy efficient systems and solutions for indoor ventilation and climatic control in buildings of all kinds. The company is well known for its supply of compact and complete air handling units, water-borne and airborne climate systems, as well as for its flow control, acoustics and residential ventilation systems. In October 2010 Swegon acquired all the shares in the Italian Blue Box Group, which is located in Cantara di Cona, Italy. This company currently has a turnover of €50 million and is a leader in the development and manufacture of industrial chillers and heat pumps.

The Blue Box Group was founded in 1986 and exports its products to over 30 countries worldwide. This strategic acquisition will complement Swegon’s product range and will furthermore improve the company’s position as a unique supplier of comprehensive solutions and systems in the ventilation and air conditioning sector. The Blue Box group’s advanced cooling technology will open up new business opportunities for Swegon and help it to meet its ambitious plans for future expansion. A company spokesperson said, “The Blue Box Group stands for innovative product development, dedicated research and development and the delivery of superior quality and service. These characteristics match our core values perfectly and we are very happy to have found a strong asset in the Blue Box Group. The acquisition is an enhancement to Swegon’s business platform and our objective now for Blue Box is to double its turnover by the year 2014.” Swegon plans to gradually introduce Blue Box Group’s products through its existing international sales organisation.

Greener energy solutions Swegon’s product development and production capability is split between different product areas at each of its five factories.

All aspects of production are highly automated and the company has consistently invested in new technology to improve the energy efficiency of its products and manufacturing processes. In 2011 in its factory in Kvanum, Sweden, the company built a Salvagnina-line. This investment has significantly increased Swegon’s Swedish production capacity. All the company’s work is focused on creating ever more energy-efficient systems that also offer added-value to its customers. This means providing more efficient indoor climate management systems, combined with improved operating economy. Swegon’s main challenge is to produce increasingly environmentally friendly, energysaving systems for the benefit of everyone. In addition to its full programme of on-going research and development, it undertakes full-scale testing of its ventilation systems designed for specific customer projects. As a Swegon customer, it is also possible to carry out individual test programmes to discover which system is best suited to a client’s specific climatic needs. This year Swegon’s GOLD RX air handling units with rotary heat exchangers became globally unique by becoming the first passive house certified ventilation unit for large air flows. In accordance with the demands from

the Passive House Institute, GOLD RX has been tested and approved in terms of energy heat recovery and energy consumption.

Expanding global presence In recent years Swegon has been expanding outside its traditional markets of Europe and the USA and recently entered into new, exclusive partnerships with companies in New Zealand, Taiwan and South Africa. In

May 2013 it entered the Australian market when it welcomed HVACR Supplies (Pty) Limited to the Swegon Group as the new exclusive distributor and agent in Australia for Swegon’s three plants producing indoor climate products and GOLD air handling units. The company has plans to extend its global reach even further in the years to come, as a company spokesperson comments: “We have ambitious aims and want

to become the world’s biggest supplier of energy efficient and holistic ventilation and air conditioning systems by 2015. We have been extending our sales network and bringing the Blue Box product range into our sales portfolio. In addition, our other main area of focus is the US market where we were first active in 2008 with a major project in Boston and where we are now expanding our sales n network significantly.”

A SUNNY HORIZON Despite the current global crisis, Coiver Contract Srl, part of the Coiver Group, can afford to have a positive outlook on the future, thanks to its track record and to the experience and credibility it has acquired over the years. Barbara Rossi talks to Gianni Dessi to find out more about this innovative producer of thermo-acoustic solutions for a wide range of industry sectors.


oiver Srl started operating in 1977, in the field of thermo-acoustic insulation for industrial plants. Over the years the activity has evolved, gradually diversifying and becoming increasingly specialised. Today the group is composed of various companies, including Coiver Contract Srl, Coiver Coibentazioni Termoacustiche Srl, Ferlegno Srl, Coiver Sign and Color Srl, and Coiver Clad84 Industry Europe

ding Srl, as well a company located in Rome (Coiver Contract Centro) especially dedicated to the projects in south Italy. Coiver Contract Srl operates in the field of civil/industrial construction and carries out internal finishes. Mr Dessi explains, “We are active in the construction sector, where our specialisation is dry finishes. We focus particularly on large public and private con-

struction projects, for which we build partitions and false ceilings, offering an added technical value in terms of acoustic comfort and fire resistance, as well raised floors. In addition to this, we also take care of the construction of architectural projects. The types of projects that we work on include hospitals, shopping malls, office blocks, airports and residential buildings.”

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Coiver Contract Srl is part of the Coiver Group. The group’s headquarters and operational site are located on the outskirts of Milan (specifically Cormano), where Coiver occupies a 4000m2 area. Around 1100m2 of this area is covered and is used for housing offices, while the remaining area is for production and stocking. Here Coiver Contract manufactures mobile wooden walls and furnishing accessories, as well as technical processes such as light carpentry and aluminium and steel metal sheeting. The R&D department is also based here and so is the warehouse for materials used in startup work taking place at the construction sites distributed all over Italy.

Investing in innovation When asked about significant investments, Mr Dessi says, “Our main investments are aimed at the acquisition of innovative technologies, something to which we pay the utmost attention. For a market leader such as Coiver Contract, being able to guarantee a continual update of our technical offer to our clients, in addition to correct installation carried out by skilled personnel and managed by an efficient construction site structure, is essential. In terms of further developments we are organising ourselves to transfer our vast experience abroad. We have actually already completed some large projects out-

side of Italy, an example of which is the Mater Dei Hospital in Malta for whose construction we worked together with Skanska, one of the world leaders in the sector. Our ambition is to replicate this experience in new markets, especially in developing countries.” Coiver’s activity in the construction sector can be described as global. The company has carried out a diverse range of projects to date, from the largest shopping malls to rail stations, from airports to large residential buildings. Mr Dessi adds, “Our red thread is and has always been the design and construction of innovative dry structures for which we widely employ our chalk sheet technology in all its forms, as well as our whole range of metallic products, mineral fibres, calcium silicate and all the special products that we select on the basis of the project’s requirements.”

Venturing abroad As previously mentioned, while so far the company has been mainly active on the Italian market, it has recently been extending its activity to foreign based projects without setting limits to the type of projects to be carried out. Up to now, starting from Coiver 86 Industry Europe

Contract, the leading company within the Coiver Group, Coiver has developed in a significant way, through a series of spin-offs, thanks to which the numerous specialised companies within the group have been set up. In this way, it is able to offer a unique range of services, which in addition to the Coiver Contract activities includes signage and communication systems, ventilated facades, mobile walls, furnishing accessories and thermal insulation. “We are keen to highlight that each of these activities is offered by a specialised

company, equipped with a technical structure and a construction site management which replicate that of the leading company within the group, but obviously on a scale commensurate with their turnover. Currently the market offers many opportunities and, because of this, we don’t exclude the possibility of acquiring a company if it proves interesting in terms of technical assets.” The global economic crisis would suggest a cautious attitude, a course of action that the company would obviously adhere to. But as Mr Dessi has to explain, “Let’s say that we add

a healthy dose of optimism to this view, at least because notwithstanding the difficulties in the market (and those of the construction market in particular) the Coiver Group has always maintained a constant growth trend. We are convinced that during these difficult times we are reaping the fruits of the credibility we have gained throughout our years on the market. As a consequence we’ll carry on with our habit of paying a lot of attention to a concrete and reliable company structure to which our clients will be able to refer to, as always. After all, n crises do not go on forever!” Industry Europe 87

UNLOCKING POTENTIAL Manufacturer and supplier of hardware Axa Stenman Industries is proud to be ‘unlocking the future’ for its largely Europe-based customers. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the product manager, Mark Grefhorst, to find out more.


he roots of the Netherlands-based hardware manufacturer and supplier Axa Stenman Industries reach back to 1902, with the company’s two complementary business areas of bicycle components and window and door components, both utilising its long-held expertise in metals and plastics. The two different business lines primarily operate separately, but they have the shared strength of the panEuropean production sites and the support functions of the Dutch head office. Product manager for the bicycle components business, Mark Grefhorst, spoke to Industry Europe about how the company consistently delivers on its promise of ‘unlocking the future’. He said, “We are a Europe-based company that uses our European production facilities to produce some of the safest, most

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secure locks for bicycles, doors and windows. With our two business areas relatively separate, there is certainly a common thread of high-quality European production and a focus on safety and security in everything we do.”

Cooperation is key The two separate production lines both sell directly to manufacturers as well as to wholesalers to their respective retail markets. Mr Grefhorst continued, “Our customers are primarily manufacturers who use our products in their production. Axa Stenman is always investing in new and ongoing partnerships with our customers in order to maintain a very high level of cooperation with customers and suppliers. This is so important for our business, and it’s an area that is continually improving too. We are keen to understand how our customers’ businesses are changing and how Axa Stenman can help.”

A large operation, Axa Stenman has production sites in the Netherlands, France and Poland as well as several dedicated sales offices and agents in various countries including Germany, Poland and France. Mr Grefhorst added, “All our production sites enjoy state-ofthe-art equipment and machinery that allows us to develop and manufacture products of the highest quality, using predominately Europeanmade parts and materials. We are currently focused on maximising the efficiency of all our plants so that we can be sure that we are operating in the most effective way for a solid balance of cost and quality.” The core products offered by Axa Stenman from its bicycle business area are locks, chain guards and dress guards and lights. For the window and door business area, its core products are hinges of various types and handles/openers for both professional and personal applications. The professional

applications also include access management products for hospitals and schools, where Axa Stenman works with long-time partner ASSA on systems and solutions that meet the challenges of this sector. Axa Stenman also works with a number of well-known partners and suppliers across both its product groups, with names including large-scale European manufacturers of cylinders and raw material suppliers of plastic and metals.

Growth and development In terms of geographical footprint, the proudly European company Axa Stenman is actually growing both in Europe and beyond. Mr Grefhorst explained, “We are increasingly moving beyond European borders, which is exciting for us. We are of course keeping our dedication to production in Europe, as well as using almost all European parts, and we

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are finding that this is appealing to customers outside Europe. With the guaranteed quality and performance of our products in both the bicycle and doors and windows business areas, customers certainly value and appreciate our dedication to delivering the highest quality in everything we do.” Axa Stenman’s growth outside of Europe is largely concentrated in Asia, with Mr Grefhorst explaining that many of the world’s main bicycle manufacturers are relocating at least part of their production to this part of the world. He added, “We are very happy to follow our customers wherever they go in the world. We will always deliver our European quality components to anywhere in the world. In fact, we are continually looking for opportunities to expand and develop; while we do have a specific target market for new business, we are always open to opportunities.” With Axa Stenman’s current core markets of Benelux, Germany and across eastern Europe all performing well, its open-mindedness towards new opportunities highlights how this ambitious company aims to grow in the coming years. Mr Grefhorst concluded, “We see our future growth as maintaining our excellent performance throughout Europe as well as making the most of the interesting and exciting opportunities we see in new markets, particularly in Asia. This organic expansion will be supported by our long-term appreciation of the importance of innovation; by continually innovating our existing products and staying close to our customers in order to develop new products, we are sure that n our success story will continue.”

WINNING THE RACES The owner of one of the largest ski factories in the world, whose winter products cover one seventh of the entire market, the Slovenian Elan group is a modern company with an innovative philosophy. Mr Leon Korošec, member of the management board, talks about the ways Elan fosters a philosophy which permeates all levels of their business. Vanja Švačko reports.


hough primarily known for its famous skis and snowboards, Elan has a presence in other sports fields as well. It comprises a nautical division manufacturing performance sail yachts and Elan Inventa, the leading brand in equipment for the sports facilities. The youngest division Elan Wind Power produces complex composite components for the wind turbine industry. Elan’s major ski factory is located in the mountain town of Begunje in Slovenia. All products from the nautical division are also manufactured in Slovenia. Elan has four companies in Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan, as well as independent distributors globally. Elan has an interesting history of ownership. After experiencing bankruptcy, it was bought by a Croatian bank in 1990. After a decade, Industry Europe 91

it was bought back by Slovene government owned investment funds. Today it is in the majority ownership of the state-owned PDP firm. At the moment, Elan is going through the process of privatisation, expected to be completed soon.

Diversified company “Our company is diversified and historically developed from the ski division,” explains Mr Korošec. “To make skis 65 years back you had to know how to bend the wood. This ability to bend wood above a water steam was then incorporated in our nautical

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division. This is why until today our core products are skis, snowboards and boats.” In the winter division the company focuses on the demands of recreational and professional athletes equally. The whole philosophy was built upon this insight. Elan’s ski is a product with a story that dates back to World War II, with hundred pairs of wooden skis made by a few craftsmen for the partisans. In 1945, a passionate jumper Rudi Finžgar officially founded the company that would very soon start exporting its skis worldwide. “Élan made the first export to the USA in 1952. We were lucky to have the visionaries

who delivered the first skis for the international market and who knew that in order to be successful you had to be global,” adds Mr Korošec. The company’s product range was rapidly growing from snow skis to water skis, boats, kayaks and canoes, tennis and badminton rackets etc. Constant need for improvement that would enhance performance resulted in the opening of an Institute for Innovations in 1963. Additional help in strengthening its position among the competitors came from the skiing legend and multiple world champion Ingemar Stenmark, who won all his races on

Elan’s skis and is until today the most successful ski racer with 86 world cup victories. Numerous breakthrough innovations in skiing technology such as carving skis in 1990, recent WaveFlex™ and Amphibio, improved the bending ability of the skis and added smoothness to the edge grip and turning. They secured Elan’s place on some of the most competitive world markets like Germany, where Elan is recognised as one of five best-selling ski brands. With its versatile winter division portfolio, Elan is present through its partner company or subsidiary wherever there is a ski market.

Market confidence “If you can prove that you can succeed in a highly competitive market such as Germany, it is an excellent starting point in internationalising your company,” says Mr Korošec. “This is exactly what has happened with our division Elan Inventa, a provider of high quality equipment for indoor and outdoor sports facilities. We delivered business solutions to large sports facilities for international championships in Split, Ljubljana, Skopje, Zagreb, Belgrade etc. After the severe economic crisis that affected countries of the former Yugoslavia, we have shifted to western Europe. There we installed the most advanced telescopic seating system for Leipziger Messe, securing a strong place among competitors.”

Elan Inventa is present in Scandinavia and Russia, expanding to other European markets, with a remarkable number of sporting facilities equipped. When it comes to the boats, Elan’s cruising yachts use the latest technology in the nautical industry. A trendsetter in yacht development, incorporating Rob Humphreys design studio, the company has its clients in Scandinavia, the UK, Mediterranean countries (Italy, Turkey, Cyprus and Greece), with growing interest appearing in the Middle East and the USA. The last division founded in the group is Elan Wind Power. “Our most recent division was the result of the world crisis that started in 2007 and hit the nautical market particularly hard,” explains Mr Korošec. “Since Elan made strong investments during the years when the market was growing, in order to deal with sudden decline of nautical business we decided to utilise those investments in a new energy division. Today we produce components from similar materials for the wind power companies, implementing the knowledge gained in marine industry.”

Korošec. “It can relate to product, technology and marketing but we try to bring innovations to all segments of our business. However, the most important for us is product innovation. The awards we keep on receiving are the rewards of our internal philosophy, brand values and the strategic decision we took years ago to deliberately invest in new and innovative products. The ski market we mostly operate in is very mature. Thus, we have to be very proactive in innovating to deliver the right value to the customer. Innovation, in our opinion, is the right answer for the challenges n of our future markets.”

Culture of innovating For all its hard work in the field of innovation Elan has earned the title of the Most Innovative Brand and received the Best Product Award for Elan Amphibio 14 Fusion ski in 2013. “Innovation is a magic word these days; everyone talks about it,” continues Mr Industry Europe 93

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GEARED UP FOR GROWTH Royal Dutch Gazelle is one of the oldest bicycle manufacturers in the world and probably the most revered brand in Europe. Industry Europe looks at how the company’s dedication to quality and innovation has resulted in it being the recipient of countless design awards and examines how the latest E-Bike electronic models are driving sales forward.


oniinklijke Gazelle was founded in 1892 by Willem Kolling, a Dutch postmaster who was one of the first to see the potential of this new mode of transport. His early success led him into partnership with a colleague by the name of Rudolph Arentsen and between them they set the seal on the future of Gazelle, the ‘Rolls Royce’ of Dutch bicycles. From a the production of just three bicycles in 1892 to becoming the biggest bicycle brand in the Netherlands producing more than 350,000 bicycles a year, Gazell has come a very long way during the last 120 years. Today the company is still based at its original premises in Dieren, near Arnhem, where all its models are assembled and tested prior to delivery.

Setting new standards Although Gazelle was founded more than 100 years ago, the company is far from old fashioned in its products or operations. In fact it is the trend setter when it comes to stylish, high quality, smooth geared bicycles. The Gazelle range today is geared to suit every conceivable consumer’s needs. From city bikes and hybrid bikes to folding bikes, racing bikes and mountain bikes, the company satisfies every sector. It is also leading the field in energy efficient ‘E-bikes’(Electronic-Drive Bikes) which are fast becoming the flagship range of the company as demand for them continues to grow. Gazelle Bicycles exports its products to most European countries, as well as to the

USA and Australia; however, its biggest markets remain Germany and the Netherlands. The price range of the company’s bikes also reflects its wide variety of models as prices start from as little as €380, and go to as much as €3000 or more for its custom made hand-crafted racing bike models.

Award winning designs In 2011 Gazelle Bicycles won the Dutch Industrial Design Award 2011. To be considered for this, a product needs to be more than aesthetically pleasing: it must also offer originality, functionality, respect, innovativeness and user-friendliness. Gazelle submitted three innovative products, including the Friiik range, which is equipped with a revolutionary gear-changing system known as the ‘Gazelle Shifting System’ (GSS). This latest GSS system can be described as a totally enclosed derailleur system that combines the main benefits of a hub gear with those of a derailleur gear. This all-new gear-shift system offers optimal, low-maintenance and yet lighter cycling comfort. Furthermore, Gazelle’s Friiik range has a unique design of its own that benefits from a one-sided rear wheel suspension system. Gazelle Bicycles has also won a Dutch Design Award for its unique ‘Power Click Evo integrated kick-stand’ as well as for its

‘Balance Innergy’ intelligent seating design. This new device makes it possible to adjust the bicycle seat to the suit the rider’s ideal sitting position, whether the rider is 4ft 8 inches tall, or 6ft 4 inches tall. What also makes this particular electric-drive bicycle special, is that it is always possible to reach the ground with both feet, thus enhancing the ‘balanced safety’ aspect of the bicycle. The majority of Gazelle’s bicycles are also fitted with a high quality AXA wheel lock as standard, as well as a conventional chain lock for maximum security. What’s more, all Gazelle bikes are equipped with top quality Vredestein and Schwalbe tyres. These embody the very latest tyre technology and offer all year-round leak protection. Furthermore, due to their unique profile and specially formulated composite walls, they are far less prone to having a puncture. All innovations past and present that are introduced by Gazelle are backed by a full ten-year warranty against defects in both materials and construction.

E-Bikes showing healthy growth Gazelle’s advanced performance E-Bikes are gaining ground with commuters who prefer to cycle to work. These bicycles were originally designed for the elderly, who wanted to take advantage of the novel electronic drive

system that significantly assists propulsion, to help them keep mobile. It was soon realised, however, that in both Germany and the Netherlands, many younger people were attracted to the new E-Bikes. This is because they offered the possibility of cycling 15–20 kilometres to work with ease and could also save them money whilst keeping fit at the same time. Today, many companies throughout Europe are offering rewards and incentives to their staff to cycle to work because it results in fitter, happier and healthier staff, who are far

less likely to take time off due to illness. Gazelle is also keen to contribute towards making the world a better place ecologically and is doing this by taking a critical look at its everyday actions and manufacturing processes. For example, it only uses waterbased paints and is committed to optimising its recycling processes. Working in close association with Ganswinkel, the leading waste disposal experts, the company has been working towards the production of the world’s first 100 n per cent recyclable bicycle.

Honda leads the world in the design and development of household and industrial power products. Industry Europe looks at the company’s operations in France.



onda is a global brand that has steadily built upon its reputation for innovation and design excellence since it entered the field of power products in 1953. However it wasn’t until 1993 that Honda Europe Power Equipment (HEPE) became a fully integrated subsidiary of the Honda Motor Group. Today Honda France Manufacturing is responsible for the manufacture of petrol and electrical walk-behind lawnmowers, ride-on mowers

and power generators, as well as hand-held trimmers and tillers. Honda France supplies more than 30 countries in the European region as well as exporting a selected range of power products to Japan. With increasing competition from the emerging markets and to maintain its position as the world’s number-one supplier of quality power products, Honda has put even greater emphasis on its R&D programme.

This has resulted in a whole new range of energy-efficient, versatile power tools and products. The company’s focus on new technologies and high quality is its answer to cheap imports that are flooding the European marketplace. As an integral part of its global strategy for growth, Honda is committed to providing the best quality products for its customers, with speed and affordability combined with low CO2 emissions.

Honda Power Equipment offers more than 60 different product models in six major product families. These six categories are generators, lawnmowers, pumps, snowblowers, tillers and trimmers.

Honda robotics leading the field Last year (2012) saw the international launch of its most innovative power product to date: the Honda Mimo, the world’s most advanced commercial robotic product. The Mimo offers the perfect solution for home owners who want a beautiful lawn all year round, but without having to find the time or energy to mow it themselves. This is the ultimate time and labour-saving device and once installed, the Honda Mimo requires minimal human interaction when working, to ensure a perfectly cut lawn throughout the length of the mowing season. This unique addition to the Honda range of domestic, mowers, tillers and power generators sets new standards in robotic technology through an intelligent combination of controls, timers and real-time sensory feedback features. The sensational Honda Mimo operates a continuous cutting system which typically cuts just 2–3mm off the grass at a time, several times a week. The unique Mimo

robotic mower embodies a fan, built into its blade holder which literally sucks the grass towards the blades to ensure a superior finish and an even distribution of the grass clippings. This innovative cutting system mows in a random pattern, which means less stress on the grass, healthier growth and a reduction in weeds and moss. In contrast to traditional lawnmowers, which need the hopper to be constantly emptied, the Mimo does not need to collect the cuttings. This is because the clippings it creates are so small that they are easily dispersed into the lawn root system and break down quickly to act as a natural fertiliser which further improves the health, quality and visual appeal of the grass.

Strong growth European sales of robotic lawnmowers are seeing strong growth, with consumers today tending to use the garden as an ‘outdoor living room’ to enjoy the increased contact with their surroundings and the option to eat out doors in comfort. The Mimo robotic mower offers the ideal solution for people living busy lives who do not have the time to maintain a lawn, as well as for the ageing population who may not be able to maintain their lawn. Honda’s Mimo operates using one of three modes: random, directional or mixed to suit the size and type of garden landscape. The Mimo can also ascend slopes and when it encounters patches of thick or long grass it

will automatically reduce wheel speed whilst maintaining its blade speed in order to deal effectively with tough lawn areas. Honda has been working on the development of robotic products since 1986 and the Honda Mimo is the company’s first commercially produced robotic device. The Mimo is manufactured by Honda France Manufacturing, in Orleans and is now available from authorised Honda dealers across Europe.

A new generation of portable power Every year Honda produces around 50,000 compact petrol generators ranging in capacity from 0.6 to 80KVA, a large proportion of which are manufactured in France. The broad line-up of models are designed to meet a diverse range of needs, from providing an emergency power source in the event of a power failure, to outdoor construction work and leisure activities. Honda has three generator product lines and is constantly raising the standard of its generators to add enhanced performance and value for its customers. Last year Honda announced that it was launching its new generation of portable power generator products across all three of its product model ranges. Over three years of investment in research and development have gone into the re-engineering of its ranges,

which have resulted in new technological innovations being installed in its Economy Series, the Deluxe Series and in its Industrial Series of generators. Whilst each series of Honda generators retains its own product differentiation, and each includes advances based upon Honda’s analysis of its user segments, the entire product platform shares a number of common elements. These new advances, including a unique, Honda developed and produced alternator for increased quality control, place Honda at the forefront of modern generator technology. These new products also meet the latest EPA Phase III timing and guidelines, which address

the latest clean air standards for emissions from engines used in non-road applications. In January 2012 Honda also announced the launch of its most powerful industrial series generator yet, the all-new EB10000. This is now the company’s flagship model with a maximum output of 10,000 watts. At the end of 2012 it introduced the redesigned HRX and HRR premium residential lawnmowers at the GIE+EXPO trade show. Receiving several key feature updates, both the HRX and HRR Series have been redeveloped to include technological enhancements that improve ease of use and performance n for homeowners and landscapers.

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From the left the General Manager Marco, Mearini and the Sales Manager, Sergio Felicissimo

DRIVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION Industry Europe speaks to Mr Marco Mearini, managing director of gearbox manufacturer Nord Motoriduttori Srl, about the company, and its future plans. Barbara Rossi reports.

Nord Motoriduttori is a member of the international Group Nord Drivesystems

Nord supplies complete drive units, consisting of a gear unit, an engine of an optimal energy efficiency class and drive electronics.

The modular systems – in the picture: the choice of Nord industrial gear units – which allow customised configurations at a reasonable price, while still offering fast delivery times.

The Plant in San Giovanni in Persiceto: the ‘extension of the new shed will open in September
Figure Nord stand at the SPS IPC Drives in Parma Italy; seen the positive outcome was also confirmed at the fair for 2014


ord was founded in 1965 in Bargteheide, near Hamburg, as a supplier of gearboxes. In-house production was initially limited to gear cases, shafts and flanges, while other components were procured elsewhere. However, Nord soon expanded its range to include all parts for the production of complete gearboxes. Later on, power electronics and electric motors were added to the line-up, so that today the group is a full-scale provider of drive solutions with a deep understanding of the industries that it supplies. Mr Mearini further explains, “Over the years, we have maintained our leadership in gear technology. The innovation with the most lasting impact in this area was the UNICASE housing concept, developed by Nord in Bargteheide in 1981. Before that, multi-part gearbox housings used to be susceptible to oil leaks and to damage, owing to torque and radial forces. Nord was the first manufacturer to make only single-cast enclosures with integrated bearing seats. These are much more compact and have a much greater load-bearing capacity, as well as a longer lifespan.”

As Nord diversified, specialised factories were established, initially in various locations throughout northern Germany. Today, the Nord Drivesystems Group has 35 subsidiaries in different countries and an international network of sales and service partners. Talking about the role his company plays within the Bologna-based Nord Motoriduttori Srl plays within the Nord Group, Mr Mearini says: “Nord Motoriduttori has a special position in the group. We supply the entire Nord Group with asynchronous motors for all mains voltages worldwide, IE1 to IE4 motors, ATEX motors, special variants and motors compliant with the most stringent worldwide standards such as, for example, the Canadian CSA standard or UL for the US market. In 1987, Nord Motoriduttori Srl was founded as a sales office for the Italian market with a staff of just three. In 1996, we opened a gearbox assembly plant. In 1997, the German parent company decided to diversify into electric motors. As Italy is home to many materials suppliers, it was chosen as an ideal site. “In 2003, we moved to a larger site in San Giovanni in Persiceto, near Bolo-

gna. Meanwhile, owing to growing global demand, Nord opened a second motor production plant in Suzhou (China) in 2005, and we have expanded the floor space in San Giovanni by 50 per cent to 15,000m² to make space for additional motor production lines and for the assembly of gear units with a larger output. We now employ a staff of about 170 and have an annual capacity of 500,000 motors and 20,000 geared motors. “The EU energy-efficiency directive that introduced a motor efficiency classification has accelerated a substantial progress to the movement for more efficient drives. We have designed IE1 to IE4 motors so as to enable our customers, who are mostly machinery and equipment manufacturers, to continue producing economically viable solutions that comply with all regulations. And we want to keep their extra engineering effort as minimal as possible. Many recently completed conversions show that Nord drive components with an IE2 or higher rating can be easily integrated. The one-off additional costs for end users are usually redeemed within a short time, since

Nord manufactures engines for all grid voltages in the world, engines from IE1 to IE4, ATEX engines, special variations and engines complying with Canadian standards (CSA), as well as engines with UL certification for the US market.

on average energy costs make up 80 per cent of a drive system’s TCO (total costs of ownership).”

What makes us special Nord supplies drives for applications such as material handling, lifting and conveying technology, as well as for pumps, mixers and fans. These products are for sectors such as the steel, construction, mining, lumber, airport, textile industries, food and beverage. As a turnkey manufacturer of mechanical, electrical, and electronic drive technology with many

years of experience in various industries, Nord supplies complete drive units and configures efficient, reliable drive concepts. The distinguishing features of Nord are high quality standards, state-of-the-art production facilities, and extremely fast deliveries. It can deliver small- to mediumsized geared motors in two to three weeks and larger ones in four weeks. Furthermore, special delivery options are on offer, cutting waiting times down to as little as 24 hours. Moreover, special product lines open up new applications for Nord and provide

the market with alternative solutions. For example, it has a growing segment of hygienic drives. Smooth-surface, lightweight aluminum gearboxes are an excellent choice for the beverage, food and chemical industries, as well as for large facilities with many drives, such as warehouses or airport baggage handling systems. Applications such as these also benefit from Nord’s comprehensive distributed electronics program. Nord frequency inverters feature uniform operation across a differentiated but manageable model range and target cost-sen-

AVEL SRL was established in 2009 and thanks to the 20 years of experience of its partners and staff it is able to supply electric motor rewinding services for the electromechanical sector to small, medium and large companies. In particular, AVEL SRL is able to carry out the production of electric motors of any type of dimension, single electrical components, electro mechanic motors and electric rewinding, as well as being able to sell the raw materials necessary for the production of electric motors on any market. AVEL S.R.L. Tel: +39 0884 995406 E-mail: -

Tecno.Mec. S.r.l. is an engineering company which for more than 30 years has been working in the electrical motor, gear motor, hydraulics, agricultural machinery, tools, and hobby and gardening machinery sectors. The company is specialised in turning, milling, grinding and assembly. The company strategy is the supply of high-quality products.

Via G. Matteotti, 32 - 06063 Loc. Soccorso Magione (PG) - Italy Phone / Fax: +39 075 841129 E-mail:

sitive segments. Large industrial gear units are another Nord speciality. In fact, Nord is the only manufacturer worldwide to produce even very large industrial gear units with 242,000 Nm output torques in the proven one-piece UNICASE housing. Typical users include mining companies as well as the chemical industry, which needs high torques for mixing high-viscosity liquids. “Developers need an intimate understanding of market trends and a dedication to continuous improvement. Good communication with our customers, who benefit greatly from a competent local or regional presence, is our biggest asset. It is understood that customers rely on us to provide exactly the level of support they require. For example, we supply complete drive units (consisting of a gearbox, a motor with the optimal energy efficiency rating and drive electronics) wired and fully operational, if required. This can save our customers a lot of time and effort. If they opt for plug connectors, installation takes a matter of seconds. And not only that, our fast and expert service team also supports customers from early planning stages all the way through to delivery, assembly and regular maintenance.”

Solid performance Nord is very happy with its performance over the past decade, especially taking into account the challenging state of the European economy. Today, the Nord Drivesystems Group holds a secure second place among providers of full-scale drive solutions. The group wants to strengthen this position. Its strategy consists of various pillars, including continuing with market-driven product developments, close customer relations and full-level customer support. As the degree of automation in many industries increases, the demand for drive equipment keeps shifting from components to full-scale solutions. Nord’s range of products enables the group to configure a suitable drive system for any task, no matter how complex. On top of that, Nord Drivesystems is committed to making its solutions ever more efficient. “Quality, of course, is a knock-out criterion in a competitive market. Nord has earned its standing by always supplying highly efficient and long-life products, systems and excellent services. Just like all Nord companies, Nord Motoriduttori adheres to the same high production and quality assurance standards as n our German global headquarters.”

Nord manufactures engines for all grid voltages in the world, engines from IE1 to IE4, ATEX engines, special variations and engines complying with Canadian standards (CSA), as well as engines with UL certification for the US market.

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Behind the name KONČAR – Electronics and Informatics Inc. (Končar INEM) stands a company that is a part of the Končar Group, the leading manufacturer of electrical equipment and electric energy plants in the region. Vanja Švačko talks to its CEO Mr Željko Tukša about his corporate vision.


ounded in 1974, Croatia-based Končar INEM is responsible for the production of industrial electronics in the areas of energy and transportation within the Group. It develops, engineers, designs, manufactures, tests and maintains power electronics devices and systems for industrial facilities, electronic equipment related to railway tracks and general ICT technologies. “So far energy dominates as our main source of income,” says Mr Tukša. “Transport is often very close in the sense of profitability, and when investment happens, it is on the large scale. However, this industry area still does not have the same continuity in revenue stream as the energy sector.”

The company’s main production programmes include converters and control systems for railway vehicles, DC and AC UPS, static excitation systems for synchronous machines, ripple control systems, protection relays, electric measurement devices and systems, process informatics, devices and systems-integrated information solutions, electronic module production and switches.

Mr Tukša says: “We like to call ourselves ‘the infrastructure company’. Since we depend on the Končar Group, we are obliged to monitor closely its growth. While nearly half of our production can be done independently, the other part entirely relies on the Group’s development.”

The infrastructure company

Being a heterogeneous company, the market position of Končar INEM largely depends on the specific markets related to the different products it offers. When it comes to power engineering, the company dominates the regional market and beyond, as evidenced

Owing to the global economic situation, investments within Končar INEM are currently directed towards the improvement of existing technological processes. Competitiveness is ensured by investing in maintenance.

Market consequences of EU membership

by recent collaborations and contracts won in Turkey. Končar’s excitation systems can be found around the world, wherever there are generators. In the former Yugoslav states, the company brand is widely recognised in this market area. As far as transportation and equipment for rail vehicles are concerned, this segment of production is closely tied to products from Končar Group. “Our products are shipped within Croatia and surrounding markets and we offer services for modernising older vehicles that are later exported to the countries of the Balkans,” explains Mr Tukša. “In terms of promoting our electrical

traction connected products, we are bound to geographically close regions where we don’t have strong competitors.” The economic implications of Croatia’s accession to the EU for Končar INEM have already been reflected in an improved purchasing system, which is crucial since a significant quantity of components come from the European markets. Like many other Croatian companies, Končar also enjoys the benefits of fast shipment and goods being delivered straight to its warehouse. “The other substantial advantage of the new economic position of Croatia is the easy access to the supplier lists of large energy

companies. It is not an undemanding path, but with some of our products in the field of electric power we can become eligible participants in their projects,” claims Mr Tukša.

Collaborative business relationships Končar INEM has collaborative working relations with many suppliers and partners. The most fruitful alliance is with KONČAR Electrical Engineering Institute Inc., which is also part of the Group. With the Institute the company works on large number of development projects. The principles of supply in Končar INEM are narrowly related to the standardisation of

components, which means that the company has strictly defined technical supply conditions. That is why they have to refer to specific manufacturers and then to order material and products through regional distributors. A considerable amount of equipment originates from the leading German manufacturers of power semiconductor components and devices, Semikron and Infineon, supplied through their Croatian representatives. “I would like to mention batteries as a crucial part of our uninterruptible power supply and the distributorship agreements we have with an American company Exide (its German plant in Budingen), Austrian Enersys GmbH and Italian company Riello for the mass production of industrial UPSs. Our product range is aimed at specific clients and projects, but for the multi-serial products we have partnerships with individual manufacturers,” explains Mr Tukša.

Emphasis on new programs In order to attract clients on a wider scale, Končar INEM is focusing on two emerging areas. One is in the field of energy. “We are passionate about renewable energy,” says

Mr Tukša, “and are committed to small hydro power plants for which we offer an electromechanical equipment package on a turnkey basis.” The second segment is in the area of ICT and has to do with the smart grid. “Smart metering is something that we have been developing through several pilot projects and

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is an advanced system for remote and wireless monitoring and optimisation of energy consumption. It measures various energy sources (water, heating, gas etc), processes measurement data and forwards them to the centralised system,” continues Mr Tukša. “Our main customers in this segment of production are utilities, municipalities etc.”

These programmes are very beneficial and cost-effective, especially for the energy companies. Increasing commitment to green development inevitably leads to a need for smart grid technologies, Končar INEM intends to carefully plan, invest and n expand in those particular fields. Visit:


PERCEPTIONS OF POWER GENERATION IN EUROPE Today Electroputere is one of Europe’s foremost engineering companies and is focused on the design and manufacture of transformers and electric motors. Philip Yorke talked to Anders Lundgren, the company’s CEO about its recent restructuring programme and dynamic growth outside its traditional markets.

Anders Lundgren, CEO


lectroputere was founded in 1949 in Craiova, Romania, and today it is one of the largest industrial companies in the region. When it was run as a state-owned company, the company’s huge facility covered 50 hectares and produced diesel and electric locomotives, as well as urban vehicles and railway rolling stock. Since it was privatised in 2007 Electroputere has gone through a series of major structural changes and the company’s workforce has been reduced from 2500 to around 700 people today. A Saudi investment company now owns 80 per cent of the shares and the balance is traded on the Romanian stock exchange. Since privatisation, the much leaner and state-of-the-art equipped company has specialised in the design and manufacture of tailor-made power transformers and electric motors. In addition, the company’s traditional markets have now been supplemented by overseas markets such as the UAE, the Middle East countries and North Africa.

Investment and restructuring The company’s remarkable turnaround since privatisation in 2007, has propelled it from being perceived as a middle-of-the-road

multifaceted engineering company to one that not only competes favourably with the best in Europe but has a highly focused product portfolio. In addition, with its low labour costs and its investment in new technology and manufacturing plant, Electroputere is also able to provide some of the most competitive rates in the business. Mr Lundgren said, “Since our latest restructuring programme and investment in new technology, we are able to move forward in two key areas of activity. The first is power transformers where we have many decades of expertise, and the second is customer-designed electric motors. All other products have been deleted from our portfolio, the most recent being the rolling-stock business unit which was sold just two months ago. Although we still own a considerable amount of land at the original site, we are slowly selling this off and today our production is focussed on a facility extending to over 40,000m2 for our transformer business and more than 30,000m2 for our electric motor manufacturing. “Traditionally our main markets have been Romania and Greece, however, since privatisation we have been able to expand our market reach to countries such as Saudi

Arabia, Iraq, and more recently to Algeria. We have employed a local sales specialist in Saudi and another to cover North Africa. We are also focusing our marketing efforts on the Gulf countries and in particular the UAE. In northern Europe we also see opportunities for growth in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands where we have been successful with our initial contacts with wholesalers there.” Mr Lundgren added, “If you look at the transformer market for products up to 100MVA then we are able to respond to this market very quickly; however to go beyond this you need to have products running for a year or more in advance. As the transformer manufacturing process is very labour intensive – in fact you could say that it is almost a hand-built product – the most important element is the winding process. From this you can understand that in tandem with our ongoing investments in technology, we are in a very strong position to offer the most competitive prices. “Transformers currently represent over 70 per cent of our turnover and our average contract in Saudi Arabia is around €500,000 per item, which equates to approximately

€1.5 million per order. This contrasts with our motor contracts, which average somewhere in the region of €300,000 each. This year we produced over 3000MVA and next year project to generate more than 6,000MVA. “When it comes to motors we are offering a diverse range of products. For example, currently we are producing motors for offshore dredgers and special application motors for items such as conveyer belts and explosionproof motors of up to 7.2MW. We are also looking at other special applications including micro-hydroelectric motors for power plants and smaller generators for other specialised niche markets. We see some big growth opportunities in this area and consider our main USPs as being our low labour costs and highly skilled workforce, short delivery times and a flexible approach to business. In addition we are able to offer short lead times and have the capacity and technology to ensure highquality, reliability and on-time delivery. “Of course, as with all our competitors, it is not possible to deliver such very large units in a fully assembled state for logistical reasons.

However, we are able to dismantle and then transport them, reassemble the units and then fully install them prior to commissioning. “Some of our customers are the biggest names in the business and so are many of our top suppliers, which include ABB Components and Nynas AB of Sweden, Alstom Grid SpA and Copper Field of Italy, Laromet Metal SA and Erdemir Srl of Romania and Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH of Germany. High-quality suppliers further enhance our commitment to both quality, reliability and customer service and I am pleased to say that we have a very positive outlook for our order books in the years ahead.”

Quality assured At Electroputere, quality control is executed at every stage of production and all routine tests are performed in the company’s own laboratories. Type tests and special tests are performed in the ICMET laboratory which is an independent facility and certified by DATECH of Germany and RENAR of Romania. The company can also offer a wide range

of transportation services via rail, road and sea, or any combination of all three. The company’s logistics systems can provide all appropriate means of transportation as well as tailor-made packaging for the goods that are to be delivered. Electroputere also uses the latest technologies and solutions for its transformer windings, depending upon the nominal voltage and current. The design of the transformer windings is dependent on their ability to withstand electrodynamic stress, as well as on an efficient circulation of cooling liquid. By using specialised software, the company is able to check, as early as at the design stage, the stress produced by the electrodynamic forces and the distribution of the impulse waves along the winding. In order to optimise the winding space, the winding principles and conductor types are carefully selected for each and every n individual requirement. For further details of Electroputere transformers and motor products visit:

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ONSHORE EQUIPMENT Protea, from Gdansk, Poland, is an international engineering and equipment manufacturer supporting the offshore and onshore energy industry. With facilities in Poland and Norway, Protea delivers tailor-made material handling systems predominantly for vessels, drilling rigs and oil producing installations.


ounded in 2001, from the very beginning the company’s main focus has been on providing cost-effective but high-quality equipment using Polish engineering expertise and facilities. Protea initially targeted the Scandinavian market and in 2004, owing to the rising number of orders, it merged with engineering specialist company, NTD Olesno. This merger further extended the company’s engineering capabilities, particularly in relation to the design of complex structures. By developing successful business relationships with its customers, the company expanded rapidly with significant growth in its sales and profits. Protea obtained many international orders from such markets as Russia, Norway, the European Union and Asia. To reduce its reliance on subcontractors and to provide a more efficient service to its

customers, Protea invested in a new manufacturing and assembly facility in Ligota Gorna near Kluczbork, Poland. This was opened in 2008 and had an annual fabrication capacity of 1000 tonnes of machinery. The global economic crisis caused a slight fall in both income and revenues in 2010 and Protea delivered fewer orders compared to previous years. However, in 2011 the situation changed rapidly with many new enquiries from global clients. Protea made a rapid decision to invest further to expand its capabilities to meet the growing demand; its factory was extended, and the annual production capacity increased to 2000 tonnes of machinery. In 2012 Protea added a new assembly workshop to allow for the indoor assembly of the latest heavy lift and BOP cranes. The assembly hall is 26m high and has added approximately 900m2 to Protea’s production facility.

Today Protea employs over 140 people and has an annual turnover of over €15 million and will continue to expand its capabilities to meet the demands of the global energy industry.

Strategic partnership Having developed a successful working relationship during the construction of the GMC Pride modular pipelay barge, Protea and GMC Limited became strategic partners in 2011. GMC is a leader in innovative engineering, project management, installation solutions for offshore oil and gas SURF, drilling and production projects. Established in 1990, GMC’s customers include national and international oil companies, large and small independents, as well as many offshore engineering companies, and it has seabed to surface expertise of a wide range of offshore operations.

Together, Protea and GMC combine their extensive offshore operational and engineering expertise into a partnership that provides innovative and cost-effective equipment solutions – ranging from specialist handling equipment through to turnkey pipelay systems. The GMC pride modular pipelay barge is a showcase example of this strategic partnership in action. Drawing on over 22 years of pipelay experience, GMC engineered and delivered a sophisticated modular pipelay barge, incorporating Protea’s state-of-theart deck machinery.

Scope of activity Protea offers turnkey engineering solutions complete with comprehensive post-delivery support – from delivery logistics to installation and commissioning, provision of spares and through life engineering support. It supplies a wide range of handling equipment to meet specific customer requirements including Proteus® offshore pedestal cranes, BOP gantry and semi gantry cranes; overhead travelling BOP cranes systems; offshore hydraulic winches; offshore pneumatic winches; pipe lay equipment, launch and recovery systems, mud

tank systems; rig elevators; rails and bogies; trolleys and other offshore deck equipment. Core Protea expertise also includes heave compensation technology, allowing it to deliver both active and passively compensated handling systems. It manufactures tailor-made equipment for individual orders and has a flexible and cooperative relationship with its clients. Moreover, it can manufacture very sophisticated equipment of the highest quality with lower production costs than its competitors. Recent deliveries include a new series of pneumatic winches and a Proteus® series SWL 30mT king post offshore pedestal crane for an oil production platform off Venezuela. The crane was designed according to the ABS Lifting Appliances and API Specification 2C for open sea lifting operations between offshore installations and supply vessels. This was followed by a number of active heave compensated winches and its engineers are currently focused on the delivery of a subsea trenching vehicle launch and recovery system. Protea has a representative office in Vestnes, Norway, and is also represented by its agents in the UK, Venezuela, the USA,

Brazil, South Korea, and Singapore. These markets are very active and the company is expanding its activities there.

Independent verification of quality In 2004, Protea implemented a quality management system certified according to the ISO 9001:2008 standard. In order to achieve OH&S and environmental protection targets PROTEA decided to implement an integrated quality management system according to the already initiated ISO 9001:2008 and additionally based on ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 standards. Currently, the company is in the final stage of implementation of these standards. Among others, Protea has also been awarded a certificate of qualification under the Achilles Joint Qualification System. The certificate is given to those suppliers to the oil industry in Norway and Denmark whose products and services meet specific industry qualifications. In 2012, Protea completed the American Petroleum Institute (API) certification for manufacturing and supply of offshore pedestal cranes according to API Specification 2C. First offshore pedestal cranes were already

HYDAC manufactured according to API Specification 2C and several more are still in production. The certificate API 2C-0103 will allow Protea to extend production capability and venture into new oil and gas markets.

The future In the coming years, Protea will continue to support its customers in the energy industries. It will focus on growing and developing long-term relationships with its clients, both new and old, by supplying innovative and n cost-effective handling systems.

“HYDAC was founded in 1963 as a company for hydraulic accessories and is today an internationally active company group with over 7000 employees, 50 branch offices and 500 trade and service partners world-wide. HYDAC stands for hydraulics, systems and fluid engineering. Our supply program includes hydraulic accumulators, fluid filters, process filters, coolers, electrohydraulic controls/industrial valves, sensor systems for pressure, encoder measurement and solenoid technology, cylinders, pumps, mounting technology, armatures, Condition Monitoring and much more. We plan and supply ready-for-use hydraulic control and drive systems, including electronic controls and regulators for mobile and stationary machines.”


Set up thanks to a recent merger, but equipped with the experience and know-how of the founding companies, Remazel Engineering is active in a range of sectors, with products for the offshore industry increasingly gaining ground and set to soon become its core business, as Barbara Rossi learns from Mr Gamba, the company’s CEO.


emazel Engineering was founded in 2010, thanks to the merger of Rema Engineering and Zambetti e Lumina. Zambetti e Lumina had taken its name from that of the two partners who had founded it at the end of the 1960s, while Rema Engineering had been set up at the beginning of the 1980s by Mr Gamba, who had spent the previous fifteen years managing other companies dedicated to producing special equipment and involved in the off-shore sector. The merger took place because Rema, which was a specialist in offshore engineering and plant subcontracting, as well as carrying out assembly and installation, wanted to further develop its deep water range and, in order to do this, needed the right organi-

sation to qualify and control all the production activities, including expediting and cost control. For this reason, there was the need for a more structured organisation. Zambetti e Lumina was identified as being of particular interest because of its supply and production time management, as well as its quality control capabilities. Through the merger the original objective was achieved. Remazel Engineering, whose recent turnover is €90 million, is organised into three divisions: Zambetti e Lumina, Metrio and Rema. Zambetti e Lumina, with its 50 years of experience in the field, manufactures turbine components, specifically GT burners, GT combustion chambers, GT parts, boiler burners and mechanical components, making its

products according to customers’ specifications. One of its notable clients is Ansaldo. Metrio designs and manufactures diverters, exhaust systems, diffusers, guillotines, silencers and expansion joints, as well as multilouvre, biplane, stack and butterfly dampers. The Metrio division works on the basis of a consolidated know-how, which is then customised to respond to clients’ needs. The main sectors to which it supplies its products are oil and gas, paper, cement, chemical, petrochemical and metallurgy. The Rema Division has developed its activity in a range of sectors (oil and gas, power transmission, railway), but its core business is machines and systems for oil and gas offshore production. It deals with all the equipment for pipe laying vessels and their


OUR SUCCESS IS THE SATISFACTION OF CUSTOMERS CMA S.p.A, which was established in 1967 and is owned by the Saretta family, is a leading company in mechanical construction for the drilling, steel, lifting, energy, naval, environment and off-shore sectors, as well as with regard to large plants in general. The production includes standard products, as well as customised products and special constructions made according to client’s design and specifications. The company is a reliable partner, which complies with the highest qualitative standards thanks to its experience, competence, flexibility and passion. CMA is certified according to ISO 9001, ISO 3834-2, DIN18800 and EN 1090 standards. With its 25,000sqm of covered space, cutting-edge production technologies and skilled and motivated staff, the company is always ready to successfully welcome the challenges of the international market. Thanks to its long experience and know-how, CMA manufactures and supplies innovative components and parts of systems or machinery with weight of up to 300 tonnes and heights of up to 20 metres, also completely tested and assembled. All the production phases are carried out at the company’s premises, in departments equipped with modern systems and machinery, thus guaranteeing the direct control of the production cycle: from preparation of materials, carpentry assembly, manual or automatic welding, non destructive tests, thermal stretching treatments, sandblasting, metal working and painting to the assembly, plant design, trial and final test phases.

CMA SPA • Via dell’industria, 6 • 36065 Casoni di Mussolente – Vicenza – ITALY Tel +39 (0) 424 579300 • E-mail • Website

Since 1980 OMV has been a standard setter for hydraulic cylinder manufacture for various needs in the material handling, building, mechanics, naval and aeronautical sectors. Our Technical Department, with 4 drawing places in 3D, is able to design, at customer request, any type of hydraulic cylinder: • with or without end of stroke damper • with proximity switch • air-oil and oil-oil pressure multipliers • constant and variable speed double acting telescopic cylinders with up to 5 sections • with 80 to 400 mm diameter bores and working strokes up to 4000 mm • operating pressure up to 380 bar with final test up to 550 bar We have three automatic welding centres with 9 axles and we can provide different welding certification. We can project and manufacture hydraulic cylinder certified by all the most important certifying society operating in Italy. Our factory has obtained UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 quality certification for its system. Visit our website:

OMV SRL Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, n. 4 – 13030 Caresanablot (VC) ITALY +39/0161/33256 - +39/0161/33257 For more information:

anchorage, alongside those for drilling units, lifting vessels and accommodation barges, as well as with complete permanent mooring systems for FPSOs. Design and engineering play a main role in the work of this division, as all machines and systems are fully customised. The division’s main clients are Saipem, Petrofac, SBM, Technip and Engevix/Petrobras. All facilities and offices are based in the Bergamo area of northern Italy. Although

the operational activities of the different divisions remain separate, all offices have been moved to the new 2500m2 Chiuduno site, where the administrative and commercial departments have been integrated in a single team, including the electrical division and the engineering department. In October a new assembling unit for large machinery, especially for the offshore sector, will be ready, allowing engineering and assembling

to be in close direct contact. “Assembling for offshore now takes place at our Stezzano site (that will be kept as an assembly unit), while in Endine Gaiano we have two plants used by Zambetti e Lumina and Metrio, respectively dealing with onshore products and burners for gas turbines,” explains Mr Gamba. “Geographically we mainly serve European, Brazilian and Asian markets, but the balance changes very rapidly, as the market situation is very dynamic. While direct clients are based in those countries, the actual products sold are deployed all over the world. “At the moment the balance between the output of Rema’s offshore products and that of the rest of our range dealt with by Zambetti e Lumina and Metrio is about 65 per cent, but we plan to further develop the offshore side of the business in the future, as this is the area offering the greatest scope for growth. The intention would be that of making offshore into our core business.”

New foreign ventures “In terms of ways of growing, we are considering three further possibilities. The first is a possible joint venture with a company with quick access to the sea, so as to be able to assemble equipment at the sea front. We have decided to open branches in China, Brazil and Singapore, mainly for offshore Rema products. While in Singapore this will be limited to a commercial and support

assistance activity, in the other two countries it will also include a production element. Production will be for the local markets only. In both cases the products offered to these markets would be a mixture of locally manufactured products and machinery imported from Italy. As well as allowing us to comply with local political requirements, production in these countries would allow us to get round transport costs and remain competitive in terms of prices. “Similarly we are thinking of opening a branch for Metrio products in India. Again, partly producing on site is going to help us both in terms of transport cost and with regard to lead times, which when using sea shipment

can reach up to four to six weeks. Sometimes being able to deliver quickly is vital, as today the market operates in a last minute context. We are already commercially present in all of the above-mentioned markets. In China we have signed an agreement with a company belonging to the COSCO group and an Italian team is ready to start up the new branch office before the end of this year.” The company holds various certifications, namely ISO9001, ISO 14001, ISO3834-2 and OHSAS 18001. Quality is paramount, something proven by the fact that Remazel has 50 members of staff dedicated to engineering, between technicians and actual engineers, and 20 people

who take care of project management, expediting and quality control. The company’s suppliers also have to abide by a strict series of checks, so as to contribute to maintaining high product quality. Suppliers have to hold certifications, as being certified according to international standards is a requirement of the offshore sector. “Virtually all of our suppliers are based in Europe, exactly for this reason, and they are one of our greatest resources. “As well as dedicating resources to engineering and quality control, we also pay a lot of attention to the training and growth of our internal staff. We aim to identify their potential n and to help them grow their skills.”

Sidertaglio Lamiere s.r.l. is among the most qualified companies in the metallurgy sector. What distinguishes us is our high commitment to logistics and the high quality of our cut products. Phone: 030/3582372 | Fax: 030/3582249 EFC steels works in the specialised mechanical market, offering the best industry products in a wide range of sizes. The company is able to supply clients with customised materials thanks to the use of modern machinery. Fast and timely shipments are guaranteed through the use of own vehicles. PRODUCTS SERVICES • Seamless pipes for mechanical applications • Customised cutting • Hot and cold seamed pipes and • Boring and finished pieces according seamless pipes to clients’ design • Drawn welded and unwelded precision pipes • Rolled and drawn rods

For almost thirty years, with no geographical limits, we have sold metal sheets with a thickness ranging from 6 to 600 mm, mainly processed through plasma and oxygen lance cutting. · S355JR,S355JO,S355J2+N · AH36…EH36 · P355NH/A516GR70 · HB 400 wear-resistant · S690QL high-strength · AISI304, AISI316L up to 80 mm

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UNDER PRESSURE Vulcan is a market leader in the design and manufacture of high-pressure boilers and pumping units for a broad range of industries. The company has seen steady growth despite the global recession and continues to stay ahead of the field through its on-going investment in new plant and technology. Philip Yorke reports. Mr Corneliu Cherbis, Eng, MBA Commercial Director


ulcan SA was founded in Bucharest, Romania in 1904 and was involved initially in the manufacture and installation of pressure boilers and fabricated components for oil refineries, steam locomotives and tank-wagons. The company has maintained steady growth over the years and in 1998 invested heavily in new welding technology for speciality steels. This opened up new horizons for Vulcan SA, thereby making it an attractive proposition for acquisition by other companies. Subsequently in 2002 Vulcan SA became part of one of Romania’s foremost industrial conglomerates: GET (The Tender Energy Group).

Growing product diversity Vulcan SA’s new owners have continued to invest in new plant and technology and as a result the production of high pressure boilers and components has continued to accelerate. Today many of Europe’s best known energy companies look to Vulcan for their advanced design and manufacturing expertise. In fact, many of Vulcan’s customers are leading, ‘blue-chip’ companies such as Alstom, ABB, Babcock Power, Petrofac, Petronas and KOC of Kuwait. The company’s growing manufac-

turing capabilities place it among the world’s leading suppliers of power plant boilers and the biggest supplier of pumping units in Europe. Today Vulcan SA offers complete boiler packages, including utility boilers, industrial boilers, fluidised bed boilers and those for biomass applications. This is in addition to specialised products for waste incineration and waste recovery and boilers for renewable energy sources. The company also produces a wide range of pressure parts, such as membrane walls, headers, drums, piping, coils and rotary-air pre-heaters. Vulcan’s broad product portfolio also extends to pumping units for oil extraction in accordance with API Spec 11E, as well as for conventional pumping units and welded structures for thermal power plant boilers. The range of customer services provided by Vulcan is equally comprehensive and includes the design of boilers and pumping units as well as the preparation of all relevant documentation. Furthermore, Vulcan is able to manufacture special, tailor-made products for sectors such as the chemical and petrochemical industries, as well as for oil & gas extraction, cement, metallurgical and environmental protection industries.

To cater for such a diverse product portfolio the company operates three modern workshops with each fulfilling a specific function. The first workshop specialises in the manufacture of boilers and pressure parts, whilst the second is focused on the production of pumping units and machining. This large workshop also acts as the company’s main assembly facility. Vulcan’s third workshop is a comprehensive, light processing shop. All three modern facilities offer hot and cold bending, automatic welding and cutting and the manufacture of steel piping. In addition, they are able to provide other primary functions such as toothing, hot and cold rolling and lifting, with capacities ranging from 10 to 80 tons.

One stop-shop Vulcan offers much more than advanced, high-tech boilers and pumping units for the chemical and petrochemical industries. The company also provides a wide range of basic and advanced design services for its clients that cover all aspects of product development. These include the provision of on-site assembly for its manufactured Industry Europe 125

products and an extensive repair and after-sales service. A company spokesman said, “At Vulcan we work to provide the highest levels of quality and service at the lowest possible prices. Every product that we produce is made using the most advanced, high-tech equipment and compares favourably with any other modern European production facility. “Our products are destined mainly for the European market but we are seeing a growing demand for our products and services outside the European theatre. We are happy to take on new and challenging projects and closely follow the trends in the market relating to new energy sources and environmentally friendly production processes. Today we offer a ‘one-stop-shop’, which is a fully integrated service that involves packages that include design services, the procurement of raw materials, production, and technical support prior to commissioning. We also maintain an on-going programme of investment in new plant and work hard to increase our competitiveness through leaner business practices that help us to reduce our costs and material consumption.”

Leaders in complex welded structures The infinite variety of technological expertise and manufacturing facilities available at Vulcan means that it is capable of designing and manufacturing virtually any complex welded structure. Currently, in addition to its core businesses, the company manufactures telecommunications towers, air and gas ducts and large steel structures for bridges, as well as undertaking special, tailor-made projects. As if to underscore its capabilities, Vulcan SA recently manufactured and delivered a number of

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critical parts for the latest VLT (Very Large Telescope) commissioned by the Chilean government as part of a joint EU project. Yet another facet of Vulcan’s diverse capabilities can be seen in its manufacture of technological equipment for district heating power plants, thermal power plants, nuclear power plants and water

treatment facilities. In reality, there appears to be very little that Vulcan cannot undertake with its broad range of high-tech n facilities in Bucharest. For further details of Vulcan’s range of cutting-edge products and services visit:

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PEKLIMAR – A RENOWNED AND TRUSTED BRAND PEKLIMAR, operating on the Polish market since 1990, specialises in the production of high quality smoked meats, sausages, frankfurters, cold meats and other meat products. Aware of the ever-changing markets and responding to consumers’ expectations, the company develops and diversifies its product offer, as well as optimising all of its internal process, from manufacturing to efficient business and human resources management. Piotr Sadowski reports.


he high quality products offered by PEKLIMAR have, over the years, gained the company a strong base of loyal customers, as well as a wide range of market and consumer awards, including the all-important Consumer Quality Sign ‘Q’ awards. “Today we are a business with a strong market position but we do not sit idle, knowing how dynamically-changing the market is,” says Bogusław Strześniewski, president of the board at PEKLIMAR. “We are therefore focusing on optimising our costs, materials and developing our human resources, which required certain changes to be made to the organisational structures. In addition, we are implementing modern management methodologies, including

management through projects, goals and strategic results. All of this allows us to be much bolder in terms of longer term, threeto five-year planning.”

Diversifying the product offer This new approach to development strategy is already producing good market results: as consumer needs and expectations, as well as the market, are dynamically changing, PEKLIMAR is able to respond to the new patterns of demand. “What is particularly visible in our market sector is how strongly the diversification and introduction of new products is being communicated by companies,” points out Mr Strześniewski. “PEKLIMAR has therefore suc-

cessfully introduced new, interesting products and brands, including a range of delicatessen products tailored for the type of cooking done to a greater extent by women. This is, of course, alongside the traditional products that have been available for many years. Above all, we are continuously working on our marketing message, to ensure it is strong and has resonance with our clients and consumers.” The average monthly production at PEKLIMAR is between 800–850 tonnes of ready products, equal to, on average, PLN 10–11 million in sales. Mr Strześniewski points out that currently the market is experiencing a shortage of pork as a raw ingredient, which means that the prices charged to the consumers have risen. Despite this, PEKLIMAR

is not experiencing a fall in its sales of products. On the contrary, thanks to the overall process optimisation, focus on high quality and strong marketing message, the company has recorded a slight increase in sales over the last few months. “On behalf of PEKLIMAR, I would like to specifically mention how important our cooperation with our pork suppliers is,” says Mr Strześniewski. “While on the one hand we have a small shortage in the supply of pork, on the other hand our suppliers are delivering pork of the most outstand-

ing quality. It is a very satisfying trend as it means that Polish pork is becoming a superior product, a fact being increasingly acknowledged on foreign markets.” In delivering high quality products PEKLIMAR also relies on successful cooperation with a host of other suppliers, with whom the company has often been working from the very outset of its operations in the 1990s. “We have really good rapport and relationships with our supply chain partners,” points out Mr Strześniewski. “It is vital to have such good cooperation as it clearly benefits both parties.”

Ongoing development In order to deliver outstanding quality products, PEKLIMAR invests in continuous modernisation of its production facilities, introducing new lines essential for modern production. Recently, this has included a PLN 1 million line for meat pickling, as well as lines used for packaging ready products. In addition, as logistics involve distribution carried out using its own transpor-

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tation, PEKLIMAR has been investing in replacing its fleet of delivery vehicles. As Mr Strześniewski explains, the company is currently operating at 100 per cent of its output capacity. Although decisions on further expansion of the premises or a potential move to a new location, with a new manufacturing hall and company headquarters, have not yet been taken, the president of the board clearly points out that in order to further increase production and sales, such decisions will need to be taken. “In the very near future we will modernise our despatch department,” says Mr Strześniewski. “We are continuously gaining new customers, who are widely dispersed, so the despatch logistics need to be improved, in order to be more efficient.” As previously explained, the market in which PEKLIMAR operates is undergoing dynamic changes, including individual buyers now consolidating their strengths in buyer groups, who are able to influence the market conditions more effectively than before.

PEKLIMAR has very good business partnerships with such groups, as it does with leading middle-sized retail networks and similar retail chains, who are important counterparts in the company’s distribution channel. PEKLIMAR operates mostly within a 170-kilometre radius around the company’s location and supplies Warsaw, Łódź, Płock, Sielsk and Ciechanów, but also ventures further into the Kujawy Region. It is also very strong amongst consumers in the Tri-City area of Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia and is intensively expanding to the Greater Poland region. “The growth of exports is a task for the future and we plan to focus first and foremost on organic growth of the company, in order to further establish our position in the niche market of our operations,” concludes n Mr Strześniewski.

DAIRY EXPERT Lacpol Group, with headquarters in Warsaw, is one of Poland’s leading industrial groups; its main business is the production and sale of dairy products to markets around the world.


acpol has been active on the dairy market for more than 25 years. “Initially Lacpol was a trading company with exports of dairy products as its main activity”, says Mr Kazimierz Los, the Lacpol Group president of the board. “The company saw a dynamic development in 1990 when we purchased many dairy producers in Poland. Thus, we turned from a typical trading company into a production and trading group of companies.” Nowadays the group consists of nine manufacturing facilities and services, a cold store, two wholesalers of dairy products, two hotels in Krynica Zdroj and a certi130 Industry Europe

fied laboratory. Manufacturing facilities are located throughout Poland. Lacpol is also the publisher of “Przeglad Mleczarski” (“Review of the Dairy”) a journal focused on the issues of the dairy industry, which has been published for more than a hundred years. Each of the Lacpol facilities specialises in the production of a particular segment of dairy products. This form of activity allows the group to apply and use specialised production technologies, as well as those considered traditional. Thanks to the extensive collaboration with global food corporations, as well as with renowned research institutions, Lacpol

products are well known throughout the world. “Exports account for 60–65 per cent of our total sales. Countries from the European Union region are our main foreign markets; however, our products are also well-known in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, China and North Africa. Sales of our dairy products to the EU countries and to countries outside the EU are carried out directly by Lacpol in Warsaw, while domestic distribution of products is carried out directly by the individual production plants and Lacpol Gdynia,” explains Mr Los. Total annual sales of the group are estimated as more than PLN 800 million (more

than €200 million). “The first half of 2013 was very profitable for the Lacpol Group. Our sales went up by 20 per cent compared to the first half of 2012. There are two main reasons behind this increase in demand: dry weather in New Zealand, the country which is the biggest dairy products exporter, and revival of demand for dairy products in China and North Africa. There is also another positive trend: butter is back in consumers’ favour,” explains Mr Los.

Fresh and dry dairy products The Lacpol Group’s offer includes a full range of fresh and dry dairy products. The latter market segment is the company’s export flagship. Dry products are obtained by the complete evaporation of water from the fresh foodstuff. Lowering the water content to just a few per cent gives powdered products a much longer life. They can be used by virtually every branch of the food industry, both as one of many components or as a central

feature of the product. Dry products, such as powdered milk, are especially valued in such regions as North Africa where the climatic conditions adversely affect the quality and shelf life of fresh products. The group’s production capacity and the broad experience of its plants that manufacture powdered products, allow full modification of the composition of the final product, which is the milk powder intended for further processing. Milk and its derivatives can

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EKO-CHEMIA EKO-CHEMIA is the best chemistry for the environment. The Eco-Chemia mission is to strengthen its market position by offering customers the high quality products, to understand the customers’ needs correctly and to adapt our offer to those needs. EKO-CHEMIA Torun is the recommended distributor and packager of the KEMIPOL Police products. We are a team of experts highly specialized in the chemical industry. We have a wealth of experience. We solve problems that appear in sewage treatment plants of various industries.

Rekopol Recovery Organization S.A. • Performs the entrepreneurs’ statutory obligations in the field of packaging waste • Is one of the oldest recovery organizations on the market • Is co-founder of community-based systems of selective collection of packaging waste • Grants the Green Dot trademark sublicense to entrepreneurs • Carries out trainings and seminars for its customers • Conducts activities related to environmental education THE INTERNATIONAL CONSULTING is our unique service product: What is happening and what should happen with the packaging of products abroad? What are the obligations incumbent on entrepreneurs exporting their products? We have the access to compliance schemes in more than 30 countries. Rekopol is the only company in Poland offering such services and has extensive knowledge and proven contacts. For companies that export packaging products we are able to: • Prepare reports on foreign markets • Prepare analysis with opportunities and recommendations • Assist in concluding agreements with recovery organizations in other countries • Monitor the implementation of obligations on each market

Rekopol Recovery Organization S.A. • Mangalia Street 4 , 02-758 Warsaw • Poland Tel: 22 436 78 30 • E-mail: •

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be enriched by minerals, vitamins and any components depending on the destination and the customer’s requirement. Fresh cow’s milk is the base for all the products. It is subject to various forms of processing and heat treatment. Microbial vaccines used by Lacpol are tested in terms of quality by in-house research laboratories. Microbiological material used in the manufacture of products comes only from strains that have not been genetically engineered. Raw milk used by Lacpol comes directly from selected farmers. In the process of manufacturing, the group cooperates with reputable

companies. For example it works with Christian Hansen, a company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, pharmaceutical, nutritional and agricultural industries, in developing solutions for the immunisation of cows. It also works with Ecolab, a global provider of water purification solutions, disinfectants, cleaning products, energy technologies and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets.

Permanent development Although the Lacpol Group’s situation is very stable, the company is not resting on its laurels. Permanent development is a part of the company’s philosophy. “We have been constantly investing in further development. Our annual investments are estimated as PLN 20–30 million (€5–6 million). Recently a new cheese plant was built in our facility in Piotrkow Kujawski.

It is one of the biggest and most modern facilities of this kind in Poland. A new line for cheese maturing was also installed in our other dairy, located in Zalesie. This plant can be described as ‘one big cheese maturing facility’. Each dairy that belongs to the Lacpol Group is updated on a regular basis,” assures Mr Los. n Visit:

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EXCELLENCE IN PRIVATE LABEL PRODUCTS Mispol, set up in 1997 in Poland, today leads the Mispol Capital Group and specialises in the production of patés, canned foods, spreads, ready-made meals and sauces, mayonnaise and mustards, processed fruit and vegetable products, as well as pet food, both wet and dry. Having undergone major restructuring, a process which began in 2012, Mispol now focuses on providing the best service for its customers in private label manufacturing. Piotr Sadowski reports.


he overall strategic aim of Mispol Capital Group, overseen by the mother company Mispol SA with headquarters in Białystok, is to become, in the near future, the leading private label manufacturer for major retail networks. It is also looking to engage in effective business relationships with product distributors in Poland and neighbouring markets. “These are very important goals which we are effectively pursuing as a result of our restructuring process,” explains Bartłomiej Kowalczyk, member of the board at Mispol. “At the very beginning of 2013 we separated and sold off the own-brand company from the capital group. This was an important move in our strategy to strengthen our position as the leading private label manufacturer in FMCG goods and a partner of choice for the largest retail chains operating here in Poland

and across export markets. We thus continue expanding our operations with leading FMCG retailers in the region, including the Baltic States, such as Maxima, Jeronimo Martins, Eurocash – one of the largest cash and carry operators – Carrefour and Tesco, as well as a wide range of other smaller retail networks.” Reflecting on the implementation of the new strategic direction for Mispol, it is important to share some key figures relating to the capital group’s operations. Thus: 40 per cent of the overall sales are made up of the distribution of patés and canned foods; another 40 per cent is pet food; 8 per cent of sales is generated from ready-made meals and sauces; 10 per cent are mayonnaise, mustards, processed fruit and vegetable products; and 2 per cent is made up of other products. “In terms of our output capacity, in patés and canned foods we are producing between

2000 and 2400 tonnes of goods per month,” says Mr Kowalczyk. “Wet pet food is anywhere between 1300 and 2000 tonnes per month, dry 1700 and 2200 tonnes per month, while in mayonnaise,mustards, processed fruit and vegetables we manufacture 700 tonnes of goods per month, in addition to 600 tonnes of ready-made meals and sauces.”

Optimising the manufacturing processes As Mr Kowalczyk explains, one of the most important elements of the current development strategy is to move away from thinking about Mispol being a brand manufacturer and concentrate fully on being the most effective private label business partner for leading clients in Poland and abroad. “While 90 per cent of our production is distributed on the home market, we are nevertheless very much focusing on

expanding our exports,” says the board member. “We are already operating in the Baltic States, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Macedonia, Hungary, Bulgaria, as well as Romania, the UK and more far-flung markets such as, for example, the USA and Kazakhstan. One of the markets that we would certainly like to expand further is in Germany, where our offer of canned foods and ready-made meals is prepared using recipes especially tailored to the expectations and tastes of German consumers.”

Mispol is certainly open to new business partnerships, aiming to work with leading retail distributors. As such, it is not taking any narrow-minded views on the different markets it can potentially serve and is thus engaging in business talks and making deliveries in new export destinations. For example, in Belarus, Mispol is supplying its customers with private-label pet foods. “In all aspects of implementing our new strategy, it has been very important to move away from the mentality of being a producer

of our own brands towards becoming the best customer-serving private label manufacturer,” says Mr Kowalczyk. “As part of this process it has been crucial to optimise our production processes, streamlining and taking advantage of the manufacturing potential in the different factories belonging to Mispol.” As a result, production today looks different from a few years ago, in that wellthought-out changes to the overall manufacturing process have been implemented,

Our focus is to help animals thrive. APC is the world’s largest producer of functional proteins. From high-quality ingredients for livestock producers, feed manufacturers and pet food companies to complete animal nutrition products for end users, we offer innovative solutions that help improve the lives of animals. APC offers a complete range of functional proteins for animal health and nutrition.

APC “APC Inc is world’s largest producer of functional animal proteins. APC Poland is proud that Mispol relies on our expertise in supplying top quality spray dried animal blood plasma (SDAP) and spray dried hemoglobine (SDH) – functional ingredients used for wet pet food. SDAP is a superior binder in wet pet food which is recognised and used by all the leaders in the wet pet food market. Manufacturers can rely on higher gelling, water retention and emulsion capacities compared to other binders. Wet pet food manufacturers are also increasingly recognising that plasma improves the quality of the final product by efficiently eliminating quality differences between raw materials such as batches of meat by-products.

Aluflexpack Polska The Aluflexpack Polska Co is since 2010 supplier of aluminium packaging for Mispol Group,especially supplier of aluminium cans and lids for meat products for human and pet-food, both printed and neutral. Due to local production in our plant in Tychy, Aluflexpack is fast and flexible supplier of the packaging reacting quick on the demands of the customers. Thanks our good and modern equipped laboratories,we are in the position to check properly the quality of semi-product and ready made goods,before realising the sale. Additionally good experienced staff in production area secured the high quality of final goods. Since November 2012 Aluflexpack is member of Montana Tech Components AG Group. This strong industrial Swiss-Austrian Group will give the chance of whole AFP Group to develop new products in frame of existing production facilities and create new range of production to fulfill new increasing demands of our customers. Aluflexpack is very much appreciating possibility of being one of the packagong supplier to Mispol Group.

In a study by Polo et al. (Pet Food Industry, October 2013) the comparison of control portions of meat chunks with portions of meat chunks containing wheat gluten (WG) or SDAP, the quality of individual pieces of meat chunk and entire pouches were improved when SDAP was used. The hardness of the WG product compared to the control was improved by 2–2.5. SDAP improved the absosorbtion of gravy by 168% compared to the control and 115%– 140% compared to WG. The presence of pellets and crumbs in the gravy was reduced by one third in the recipes containing SDAP, and the turbidity of the gravy was also improved. In terms of customer perception, the quality:price ratio of the wet pet food manufactured by Mispol is easy to see and we hope to assist the company in its future achievements”.

with certain areas of production moved across the factories. Thus, the two units in Poland (Białystok and Suwałki) now lead the production of wet pet food, whereas the two factories in the Czech Republic concentrate on dry pet food. Furthermore, another factory in Suwałki manufactures canned and aluminium-packaged goods, while yet another production centre, in Białystok, creates jams, marmalades, sauces, mayonnaises and ready-made meals. “Following the shifts of manufacturing certain goods between the different factories, we now are clearly seeing the beneficial effects of production optimisation at all of our six production units,” adds Mr Kowalczyk. “The optimisation has also been strengthened by carrying out supporting investments in specific production lines. For example, we are now achieving doubled efficiency in the production of mayonnaises, as well as in other products.”

Working with outstanding suppliers Owing to the fact that Mispol focuses on being a producer of high quality private label FMCG goods, its supply chain therefore only includes those partners who are able

to provide such high quality standards. Accredited with HACCP standards or even IFS and BRC. Mispol also ensures that wherever it uses meat, it is fully traceable; it also supervises randomised genetic testing on meat supplied, to ensure that it is has no unexpected additives. “Looking at raw ingredients such as different types of wheat, these are sourced from southern Poland and the Czech Republic. Oil is supplied by mainly one partner – a Polish producer with whom we have worked for many years, as the high and stable quality of oil is extremely important in our manufacturing processes,” says Mr Kowalczyk. “Packaging is obviously another key area of our supply chain. Here we work with the largest packaging manufacturers in the region, in Poland and the Czech Republic, ensuring that transportation costs are kept at an optimum level.” Thus, having embarked on the major restructuring of the capital group and the ongoing improvement of all areas of operations, Mispol is now looking forward to continued organic growth, as well as possible takeovers. As Mr Kowalczyk explains, it will be important to continue improving the efficiency

in existing product groups, while also adding new categories of goods. In addition, an ongoing expansion of the distribution markets will continue to be a major priority, including Germany, but also further destinations such as n France, Sweden and Norway.

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THE FUTURE POWER OF PULP Sodra is one of Scandinavia’s largest economic cooperatives and is a market leader in the manufacture of paper pulp and biofuel products. Philip Yorke talked to Jonas Eriksson, the company’s plant manager, about its increasing role as a power provider and its ambitious plans for expansion of its pulp mill facilities.


odra was founded in Sweden in 1938 and more than 51,000 forest owners in Southern Sweden are members of the economic association that is now celebrating 75 years of successful operations. Together its members own more than half of all the privately held forestry in the area. Sodra is also a major employer in the region with over 3800 people working for the group in roles ranging from forestry management and environmental conservation, to accounting, sales and new product development. Sodra’s main products are paper pulp and biofuel products, but in recent years the company has also become a significant producer of electricity, and sells its surplus for domestic and commercial consumption. Today the company produces more than 425,000 tonnes of paper pulp

per year and employs over 3800 people. In 2012 Sodra exported 92 per cent of its paper pulp products and recorded sales of around SEK 17 billion.

Leading the field Sodra leads the field in paper pulp production in the Nordic region and is planning to extend its lead still further. The company plans to increase manufacturing capacity at its Varo pulp mill from 425,000 tonnes of pulp, per year to 700,000 tonnes. The environmental licence required for this expansion has already been applied for and the company anticipates that the permission to proceed with the new mill will be granted early in 2014. The increased capacity will result in more efficient production and pave the way for the company’s long-term growth and profitability for its members.

Mr Eriksson said, “Part of our commitment to our members and the environment is our ongoing investment programme to enhance our efficiency and productivity. We are also continuing to diversify and have developed several important new income streams since 1972 by extending the versatility of our production processes. For example, we began with pulp production in 1972 and by 2002 we were able to provide power for our local town’s district heating. In 2007 we began producing ‘green’ electricity on a commercial scale and in 2002 we moved into dried bark production as part of our biofuel offering as many households use bark as biofuel. Then finally in 2013 we diversified again into the manufacture of pellets as it offered another significant economical biofuel income stream. As far as energy Industry Europe 139

is concerned we are currently generating more than 1500 GWh of energy surplus to our needs, which is sufficient to meet the demands of over 75,000 family homes. “However, our most ambitious expansion programme to date is the planned development of our pulp mill facility at Varo which will almost double current capacity. We are very fortunate in that all our raw materials come from sustainable forestry locations within 120km of our plant and therefore the fibre content quality is very consistent. This in turn means we are able to guarantee a consistently high standard of raw materials,

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and in addition it offers us a very reliable source of raw materials. Mr Eriksson added, “Another important milestone was the installation of a new turbine in 2007, which enhanced our efficiency and since then we have been able to deliver green electricity from the steam created from our boilers. Our 63MW backpressure turbine from Skoda runs at 85 bar and 485 degrees Celsius. We have three basic softwood pulp products that we market worldwide. We produce tissue on a very large scale and this market is growing, we also produce speciality papers as well as fine papers.

“Another unique aspect of our production facilities is that we have our own saw mill located adjacent to our pulp mill plant which again adds significantly to our company’s overall efficiency.” It is worth noting that because electricity is generated and used more efficiently at Sodra’s plants it means that a greater share of green electricity can be supplied to the open market. Even forest felling operations make a direct contribution to biofuel production as during the felling process a growing proportion of waste products are recovered to create biofuel.

Research, the key to remaining competitive Sodra believes that ongoing research and development is essential if the company is to remain competitive in the future. It therefore uses its own considerable resources and its partnerships with both universities and research institutes to create opportunities for the efficient development of its products and production processes. This

research covers the entire value-chain, from forest improvement to the marketing of new products to its customers. Sodra’s research also aims to develop methods and processes that improve overall production efficiency and thus make the company more competitive. As a major player, Sodra also has a respect and responsibility for the way the earth’s resources are used. Sustainability is

therefore at the heart of everything that the company does from seed growing in the forest to its renewable products. Today Sodra plants three trees for every one that it fells. Furthermore, it sees sustainability as offering a competitive advantage that forms a natural part of its successful business model. n For further details of Sodra’s diverse, sustainable products and services visit:

New Solution developed Best practice by VECOPLAN The plant in Väröbacka in the Swedish province of Halland, south of Gothenburg, was built in 1972 and since than it has been upgraded several times. Recently, the VECOPLAN AG from Bad Marienberg (Germany) has designed, manufactured and supplied the conveyor system for the connection of the existing sawmill to a new pellet plant. With the successful implementation of the project plant and machine builder the growth and success of Södra Cell has been significant supported. The required output of 100 m³/h is ensured by two loading and unloading conveyors, which can be moved sideways, as well as by a 200 m VecoBelt pipe conveyor for transporting sawdust. This project integrates the VECOPLAN conveyor system into an existing production facility without causing any stoppages to that plant. This was a challenge that could only be tackled by taking in a “roundabout” way. In order to reach the actual installation site, the customer had requested that the existing material delivery routes to the plant be diverted during the construction phase, and that a temporary chip discharge point be incorporated. For the customer a new steel rope free construction for the VecoBELT was developed by VECOPLAN. The new design is easier to install, economical and above all very flexible. The 200m long conveyor is supported by four Ypsilon pillars in distance of 50 meters. This construction allows the use of the small space between storage places and buildings on the campus without restrictions. The customer is satisfied: “The cooperation between Mared/ VECOPLAN and Södra Cell went well. We were impressed by VECOPLAN‘s technological competence and service-friendliness,” explained Leif Thoren, project manager at Södra Cell AB.

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DESMI Ocean Guard is the global leader in the development and supply of environmentally friendly ballast water treatment systems. Philip Yorke spoke to Rasmus Folso, the company’s CEO, about its latest innovative products and move into new markets.


ESMI Ocean Guard was founded in 2009 by three major companies within the maritime industry, and is dedicated to the protection of the marine environment. The three companies that form DESMI Ocean Guard are: Maersk, UltraAqua and DESMI. Together these shareholders have more than 300 years’ experience in the maritime industry. By combining the vessel operating expertise from A.P.Moller – Maersk, the water treatment knowledge of UltraAqua and the unrivalled pumping know-how of DESMI, the new company offers a unique platform to develop reliable, cost-effective and 100 per cent efficient Ballast Water Treatment Systems worldwide.

New ballast water concept DESMI Ocean Guard A/S has developed and ‘type approved’ its unique OxyClean Ballast Water Treatment System, which is also the first of its kind to be successfully tested in fresh water. The OxyClean system includes a unique utilisation of in-situ generated ozone, which allows a three step treatment of ballast water, from filtration to UV radiation and finally ozone injection. The chemical and risk study conducted by the IMO GESAMP panel concluded that the ozone was immediately absorbed by organic

material and therefore not even TRO monitoring of the treated water was required. DESMI Ocean Guard’s OxyClean System was also type approved by Lloyds Register of Ships in November 2012 and later DNV also gave the OxyClean System its full safety assessment approval. In addition, ABS has also type approved the OxyClean System by the company. This means that DESMI Ocean Guard’s OxyClean Ballast Water System is recognised by the world’s three major classification societies, which in itself is a remarkable tribute to the product’s efficacy, reliability and eco-friendly operation. Mr Folso said, “This bold and pioneering programme to reduce the environmental footprint of shipping at sea and reduce energy consumption concerning ballast water treatment, would not have been possible without the dedication of the big three companies involved and the huge investment needed to drive the programme forward. Our system utilises low pressure UV lamps which consume 30-40 per cent less energy than the common high pressure UV lamps. The international requirement concerning more environmentally friendly maritime practices by the IMO was adopted in 2004. However, the convention only comes into force when at least 30 member

states representing at least 35 per cent of the world’s gross tonnage ratify the convention. To date 37 member states representing 30.32 per cent of the world gross tonnage have ratified and the convention it is therefore not yet in force. “The next twelve months are crucial for the ratification of the new IMO legislation rulings. Unfortunately, not all IMO member states are as dedicated to ‘green’ policies as we are, and our nightmare scenario is that some countries will set their own ballast water discharge legislation if the IMO convention is not ratified very soon. “This would result in each port setting its own rules and standards, thereby making it impossible for shipowners to meet all the requirements at the many ports throughout the world. Standardising ballast water treatment legislation is therefore a very important issue indeed. The USA has already set its own legislative standards for ballast water treatment discharge but fortunately these are very similar to the IMO regulations and therefore do not pose a serious problem for us. “Our system is designed to perform for the lifetime of the ship; however, as you would expect, UV lamps need to be replaced at certain intervals, but they have a life expectancy of over 10,000 operating hours and Industry Europe 145

so replacement is a rare event, as would be the changing of the filter candles inside the filter which only need replacing a few times throughout the lifetime of the vessel. “Currently our system is only being installed in new-build vessels, but retro-fitting will be an increasing market in years to come. We design and prepare the whole package but the big shipyards carry out all the installations. Our main markets are China, Japan and Korea but we see a growing future for our products in North and South America and for offshore and cruise vessels produced in Europe, Norway, Germany and Italy. We work with the UV lamp manufacturers to develop optimal UV lamps and treatment systems and use only experienced, dedicated licensed fabricators for the manufacture of our systems overseas.

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“We are not the cheapest supplier in the market but definitely the best and our innovative technology, high quality and reliability means that ship-owners will not be facing huge bills in a few years’ time when poorer substitutes to ours start to fail. Added to this, of course, is the fact that our systems are 100 per cent environmentally friendly, in fact our efforts in this area were recognised recently when the Danish Crown Prince visited out facilities in Denmark as part of a government initiative to promote innovative and environmentally friendly technology.”

Setting new benchmarks DESMI Ocean Guard’s latest addition to its product portfolio is its unique RayClean system and this complements the

company’s successful OxyClean system. Both are based on mechanical filtration and UV irradiation with highly efficient low-pressure lamps, but whereas a single OxyClean UV-unit can treat 100m3/h of ballast water, the new RayClean UV units can treat 300m3/h. This makes the RayClean system even more cost-effective at higher flow rates. The new RayClean system sets new standards for the industry in terms of both treatment performance and power consumption. When developing this system, the company wanted to design a unit that would be capable of coping with extremely challenging water conditions whilst at the same time reducing power consumption to the lowest level in its class.

DHI are the first people you should call when you have a tough challenge to solve in a water environment. In the world of water, our knowledge is second-to-none, and we strive to make it globally accessible to clients and partners. So whether you need to save water, share it fairly, improve its quality, quantify its impact or manage its flow, we can help. Our knowledge, combined with our team’s expertise and the power of our technology, hold the key to unlocking the right solution. -

As a result, in extremely challenging conditions such as very muddy water ‘type approval’ testing has demonstrated that the RayClean system can treat water with UVtransmission as low as 0.33 and still satisfy the IMO and US Coast Guard discharge standards. This latest innovative development represents yet another new maritime benchmark set by DESMI Ocean Guard. n For further details about DESMI Ocean Guard’s innovative products and services visit:

PRECISION POWDER METAL PARTS GKN Sinter Metals is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of metal powder precision components. Industry Europe looks at the company’s production profile, latest news and strategies for continued success.

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KN Sinter Metals, a wholly owned subsidiary of GKN plc, has around 6500 employees worldwide operating from approximately 30 locations in 15 different countries in Europe, North and South America, southern Africa and Asia. The global headquarters of the company is in Auburn Hills, Michigan, in the USA. But all of its marketing activities are masterminded from its offices in Bonn, Germany. GKN Sinter Metals offers a complete range of PM (powder metal) products, technologies and engineered solutions. These include sinter metal components, self-lubricating bearings, filter technology, powder metal injection mouldings powder forged components and aluminium sinter metal components. Backed up by global expertise, it is committed to delivering manufacturing and engineering support to ensure its clients succeed.

GKN has long been considered a worldclass supplier and works with some of the top players. For example, this year it was awarded Ford’s prestigious Q1 certification for supplier excellence. As Ford is its largest customer, this represented an important achievement. Earlier in the year another of its important clients, Bosch, awarded it preferred supplier status. Finally, in January 2013 its focus on quality was recognised with three Supplier Quality Excellence awards from General Motors Powertrain.

Automotive strength As may be surmised from the above, a significant percentage of the company’s sales are accounted for by the automotive sector. Nevertheless, despite the impressive sales figures and the fact that the company is an established player in a highly demanding marketplace, it feels that the merits of

powder metals as materials for precision manufacturing are under-appreciated. As such, the company makes efforts to convince a wider audience of the materials’ attributes. The objective is not just to increase the volume of existing applications, but also to help establish new ones. Briefly, the technique involves forming metal parts by filling moulds with powdered materials, pressing them into shape under forces that may range from less than 100 tonnes to over 350 tonnes and then subjecting the parts to heat treatment. The temperatures involved in the latter can vary from around 500°C to as high as 1200°C for parts that are ‘sintered’, in other words heated until they reach the point where the metal begins to melt. The advantages of manufacturing with powder metals can be considerable. One of the most important is that parts can be manufac-

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tured to ‘near net’ shape, so that any requirements for subsequent machining processes are minimised. In turn, that means there is very little wastage of the materials. It is an accurate, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of manufacturing. Moreover, the materials involved can also be highly varied. For example, GKN Sinter Metal produces parts made from steel, bronze, aluminium and various alloys. It also makes ‘soft magnetics’ based on a carbon-phosphor mix.

Technical capabilities Two stages are involved in trying to change this situation. The first is for GKN Sinter Metals to obtain data from existing or potential customers about the performance requirements for specific applications. The second is for it to convince those customers that powder metals can fulfil requirements that are currently met through the use of other, more conventional materials. The overall task, though, is not easy. The industry in which GKN Sinter Metals already has a strong foothold, the automotive sector, has extremely complex and exacting validation processes for approving new types of materials in existing applications. It makes little difference that the company may already be a supplier for other types of component. 150 Industry Europe

For this reason a key element in GKN Sinter Metals’ strategy is its technical centre in Radevormwald, near Cologne in Germany. The facility’s engineers have the job of demonstrating that powder metals can meet the application requirements of other companies. The facility boasts a range of specialised equipment including several presses and

furnaces, rolling machines for the development of gear prototypes and an environmentally controlled room for precision metrology. The result is a comprehensive ability to produce prototype parts and demonstrate how they perform in simulated real-life conditions. In parallel with this practical approach, the company also seeks to keep itself at

the forefront of new developments in technology. To this end, it operates a worldclass dedicated research and development centre in Europe, and a linked regional facility in America. Both are focused on leading technology development through innovation in support of the company’s n vision and goals. Industry Europe 151


WORLD MARKETS Gruppo Plocco Steel has historically been based in the Frosinone area of central Italy, where it has been expanding since the early 1960s. Today, while keeping its activity in this area unaltered, the group has crossed national boundaries, thanks to foreign subsidiaries set up to increase – not delocalise – its production. Barbara Rossi interviews Mr D’Addazio, the sales manager of the company.


ruppo Plocco Steel is composed of five Italian companies: Osim Plocco Srl, Enertronica, Orion, Flexbed and Euronefro. Osim Plocco is the oldest company of the group, founded by the Plocco brothers – Angelo and Giovanni – in 1961. The brothers were respectively experts in carpentry and mechanics and so focused the company’s activity in these two areas, a specialism which remains to this day. Initially the company was serving the rail and public body sectors, and with regard to the latter the activity mainly consisted of providing equipment to the Ministry of Defence. Over the years, with the arrival of

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the automotive industry in the Frosinone area, the company expanded its activity to supplying components for this sector, as well as to growing into a group, although it maintained its company status. Operating in metalwork, Osim Plocco Srl has a current turnover of €15 million and, as well as supplying components to the other companies of the group, has a wide range of clients, serving the automotive, railway, aeronautical, moulding, electromechanics and electronics sectors, supplying multinationals, as well as public bodies – for instance logistical support products to the Ministry of

Defence. Its activity is approximately equally sub-divided in machining, carpentry and mechanical processing – including assembling and surface treatment. Clients of the former products include the ABB group, Schneider Electric and Key Safety Systems, while through the latter range it serves customers such as AgustaWestland. Currently, the group, led by the third generation of the founding family, generates a turnover of about €35–40 million and employs 100 people. It operates from a 36,000m2 site in Frosinone, which as well as housing the group’s headquarters and

Osim Plocco Srl, is also home to Flexbed, the group company which, having started its activity in the 1980s as a producer of bed bases for the Ministry of Defence, has now evolved to manufacturing bed bases and shutters for a wider range of clients. Another company of the group operating from the same premises is Enertronica, which was established six years ago, as a spin-off of

a project with the University of Cassino. With its 25 employees, this EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) company designs, supplies and installs large-scale photovoltaic systems to industrial clients. Orion, on the other hand, originally based in Turin and acquired by the group in 2001, operates from a separate site, in Ferentino – still in the Frosinone area – where it produces

high-quality accessories for motorbikes and mopeds, such as top boxes and mirrors. Mr D’Addazio explains, “As well as supplying manufacturers of motorcycles, including Piaggio, Aprilia and Malaguti, we also supply products to the after-market sector and carry out plastic moulding for third parties.” Euronefro, based in the centre of Frosinone, is a distinct entity from the rest of the group,

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as it is a private dialysis facility, which was set up by the group about ten years ago and works in partnership with the Italian National Health Service.

Crossing borders Foreign expansion has materialised through Orion, Enertronica and Osim Plocco Srl. Orion has, in fact, a site in Pune – near Mumbai,

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India – thanks to a joint venture with Ronch Polymers, part of the Borana Group. This joint venture was created to supply products to the Indian motorcycle accessories market about 18 months ago and is currently transforming into an Indian company, in which the Italian group has a share. Currently production is customised, following the client’s design and specifications, but future plans are geared

towards complementing this activity with the introduction of the manufacturing of a range of products replicating those offered in Italy, but still targeted to serve the local market, the biggest in the world in this sector. Enertronica, on the other hand, has just opened a site in Cape Town, in partnership with Gefran, so as to be part of the important solar energy development taking part in the

country. In addition to this the company, which since the beginning of February 2013 is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, is also active in the photovoltaic sector in Bucharest, Romania. Osim Plocco Srl is also present in Romania, but in the Timisoara area, where it has opened a warehouse in partnership with a local company for stocking metallic components for automotive clients based in the region – where it also carries out galvanic treatments. This facility has been set up so as to be able to follow existing automotive clients which had moved their production to the country. However, Mr D’Addazio insists, “This has not resulted in a delocalisation of the production that we have in Italy, but it has rather allowed us to increase our overall volumes by acquiring new geographical markets, while keeping an unaltered presence in our country.” In terms of new products Enertronica has recently developed a new LED industrial line, offering important advantages in terms of energy efficiency. In addition to this, the group has also invested in developing a new produc-

tion facility, still situated at its main Frosinone complex, for the production of machined parts. Mr D’Addazio concludes the interview by saying, “As a group, our main geographical markets are centred round Europe, Asia – with a special focus on India – and South Africa.

Our plans for the future, specifically for the next year or 18 months, are of a consolidation of what we have started in the last year. Growth will take place in an organic fashion and expanding in a new geographical area could be a good idea, specifically in South America.” n

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NICHE MARKET SUCCESS A niche market focus and post buy-out management agility have given a competitive edge to Advansa, leading supplier of polyester fibre, filament and specialities. “We are not swimming with all the fishes,” says managing director Dr Heinz Meierkord in a conversation with Colin Chinery.


the ultra competitive polyester fibre industry, specialisation has made the German/Dutch Advansa a global niche leader. With a manufacturing plant at Hamm in Germany, Advansa is a leading supplier of polyester fibre, filament and specialities, with annual revenues in excess of €150 million. With its main marketing and logistics operations in Europe, the USA and Asia, Advansa’s business portfolio extends across three main categories – two with a high focus in branding and marketing: fibre fill for pillows, quilts, mattresses and furniture; performance fabrics used mainly in sportswear and related items; and highly specific polyester fibre for technical end uses in industries as diverse as automotive, construction, medical and packaging.

Niche definition “We have very clearly decisive niches in the polyester fibre business which is otherwise a huge global ocean in which you swim. So we are not swimming with all the fishes,” says managing director Dr Heinz Meierkord. “In these niches we have very decided, partly visible, partly invisible competitive advantages, and at least in Europe if not to an extent on a global scale, we are the market leader.” This former Du Pont business was acquired from Sabanci, Turkey’s leading industrial and financial conglomerate, two years ago by a group of investors including the senior management of Advansa. The buy-out has brought the company great agility, says Dr Meierkord. “The changes are those that occur when you get out of

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a big industrial conglomerate that has a number of structures and processes going through several layers of management and decision-making. “Compared with the past, decisions are now taken extremely quickly, largely independently, based on pure data and – in most cases – the experience of a single decision maker. Our levels of flexibility and initiative have increased enormously, which is hugely important in this very competitive and daily changing business environment we are working in.” At the same time Advansa is able to draw on its 50-year Du Pont heritage, with full rights to the former DuPont polyester technology as well as access to the experience associated with its continual development. And there is another major legacy – its people. “Our company has emerged from a big conglomerate into the mid size structure. So we have people with a much broader background, colleagues in the shareholder team coming back from ICI times who later joined Du Pont, and those like myself who started purely in Du Pont. “And because of this we have an international team, notably in the marketing organisation where we have ten different nationalities with 14 active spoken native languages. If we had started purely as a small Westphalian company in Hamm, it would have been very unlikely that after 20 years we would have had a team like that.” Another of the company’s strengths is the close relationships it maintains with its key suppliers: “Pulcra Chemicals in particular is a very important supplier to ADVANSA. Pulcra

Chemicals, B-Plast 2000 and Anton Uhlenbrock are all long term and good partners of ADVANSA. They achieve good ratings as suppliers in our quality management systems. Our priorities for key suppliers are: good value for money, suppliers with a service orientation and we prefer to establish long term partnerships.”

Focused R&D Advansa’s ability to continually develop and commercialise innovative polyester products while remaining competitive, is one of the company’s critical success factors. And here the key driver is its state-of-the-art R&D multinational research project leaders and operational teams. But in an industry with tight profit margins, R&D must be strictly monitored and end-user focused, says Dr Meierkord. “Many traditional approaches have a management philosophy that R&D by its nature has a poor yield and many failures. But this means you waste a lot of money, and the margins in this business are not so high that you can afford significant mistakes. “And if you look to the financial strengths of your company, one point where you can improve your financial and commercial strength is to reduce waste – not only in production but also, for example, R&D. So you must strive for a higher percentage of probability – easy to say but on a daily business basis difficult to carry out.” In general the overall man made fibres sector that has seen significant developments over the past decade, the current hot spot is carbon fibres, says Dr Meierkord.

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“On the other hand, the most traditional polyester has become a huge and growing global business. “In Nylon for example, after a significant restructuring, there are more niches that many recognise, and those companies that are in there are now enjoying it. These new businesses are high tech – high cost however – and they need to justify their place in the industries where they have the end use, and this can be very difficult.” Polyester fibres are a sector where both the industry and its customer base are subject to globalisation and all its competitive realities. “Other industries complain about global competition, but if you compare them to polyester fibre then nobody knows what global competition really means. “If in Greater Europe, say, polyester staple mill consumption is something above one million tonnes, then 600,000 of that is coming from Asia. It’s not rocket science any more to make decent normal polyester fibre, and technology is no longer a true competitive advantage. 15 or 20 years ago perhaps, but those times are over.” Vice-chairman of the industry’s European association, Dr Meierkord says that in a global battle to remain competitive, the European industry is being hobbled by electric power

Die B-Plast 2000 Kunststoffverarbeitungs- GmbH ist ein renommiertes und weltweit tätiges Kunststoffrecyclingunternehmen. Schwerpunkt ist der Ankauf und die Verarbeitung von Kunststoffproduktionsrückständen. Darüber hinaus ist das Unternehmen ein zuverlässiger Lieferant von Granulaten. The B-Plast 2000 Kunststoffverarbeitungs- GmbH is a prestigious and global plastic recycling company. Focus is the acquisition and processing of plastic production residues. In addition the company is a reliable supplier of granules. B-Plast 2000 Kunststoffverarbeitungs- GmbH Tjüchkampstraße 26-34 b 26605 Aurich

prices, government created adds-on such as taxes, regulations and subsidies for alternative energies, and the excessive bureaucratic application of REACH, the European chemical regulation system.

Power struggle “The man-made fibre industry ranks among the energy-intensive sectors, and stateimposed levies and taxes on energy prices have a severe impact on competitiveness. More or less each year since 1998 we have seen energy prices in Germany increasing by between three and six times the inflation rate. “The illogical structure of subsidies for alternative energy has to be quickly revised using common sense, otherwise the base from which German success is coming will disappear. And that base is industrial activi-

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ties which still account for more than 20 per cent of the German GDP.” Through its strategy of specialisation and focus, and not participating in the standard fibre market, Advansa will continue to innovate in three different market niches, frequently with tailor-made solutions for individual customers, says Dr Meierkord. “Already growing in Europe, Asia and the USA, we will clearly strengthen ourselves and grow in the niches where we are already leading, increasing our market share. On the other hand, based on our know-how and financial strength, I would not exclude enlargement through acquisitions. “We are geared up for very specific solutions and looking for cooperations along the value chain. We are not looking for n opportunistic businesses.”

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CABLE SOLUTIONS Murrplastik is a global leader in the manufacture and supply of injection moulded cable management systems for machine automation, robotics and maritime applications. Philip Yorke talked to Marco Braeuss, the company’s CEO, about its broad product expertise and latest innovative products.


urrplastik is a privately owned family business that was founded in Germany over 30 years ago and has since grown to become the world leader in injection moulded cable management systems. Murrplastik is a fully integrated ISO 9001 company that provides a wide range of manufacturing, engineering, product development and design services to industry. The company’s sales, distribution and customer-care service organisation spans more than 40 countries worldwide. Murrplastik has a major facility in North America located in Hatfield, Philadelphia,

which is designed to serve the company’s US, Canadian and Mexican markets, as well as manufacturing facilities in China to serve the Asian markets.

Customer-specific solutions Murrplastik works in close partnership with its customers to provide unrivalled, productspecific solutions across its diverse range of business sectors. Murrplastik Systemtechnik is able to design and adapt any of the company’s broad range of products to meet any individual challenge. For example, the Murrflex Flexible Conduit System has been designed

to contain high-quality flexible conduits that make up a complete system to allow easy and simple assembly. Furthermore, the conduit comes in a wide variety of different plastics which offer the flexibility to suit various applications and environments, and these can be tailored to a customer’s specific requirements. The company’s latest line of IP 68 rated fittings is also a unique two-piece fitting system, which incorporates fully integrated gaskets and seals coupled with an antivibration feature. This one-of-a-kind fitting is available in NPT, PG and metric, plastic or metal threads. Marco Braeuss said,

“Product development and innovation have always been high priorities at Murrpkastik and we have more than 100 patents currently in force. We also have 12 designers in our labs as part of our comprehensive product development team near Stuttgart and we are in the process of doubling the size of our facilities here at our head office.

“This will enable us to focus on a number of outstanding new products that we have developed, such as our latest ‘Pulsar’ laser marking system which represents the future for marking in industry. Another important development is our friction-free Magnetic Ride Technology which meets a growing need for special applications in the glass

industry and which can also be applied to any industry where environmental and health issues are important.” Mr Braeuss added, “We also work closely in partnership with the TKD Group and RKT of Hamburg, and we see these successful partnerships as the way forward for our company in the future. We have strong, long-standing relationships with our key suppliers, including CMS Chemicals and Alfa Plastik GmbH who supply our high-quality raw materials. “What’s more, our client base includes some of the world’s biggest, blue-chip companies, such as Siemens, Bombardier and ABB. We also supply products to the automotive industry via tier one and tier two component suppliers for major OEMs such as VW/Audi. “Whilst our biggest market remains the EU we are seeing strong growth in the EMEA countries as well as in the emerging markets of Asia and South America. We now have two manufacturing facilities in China, one in Beijing and the other in Shanghai. We believe that our global success is due partly to the fact that as a family-owned independent company we are able to be more flexible and to make quicker decisions to help our customers to become more efficient and more profitable. And although we are a global company, we act locally, with the help of our partners and distributors overseas.

“We are also very much a socially responsible company in all aspects of our business activities. As well as being environmentally aware, we try to put back something into society itself. Our CEO, who is the daughter of our founder, recently established educational facilities in Sri Lanka. This is to help deprived children get a good education, something that they would otherwise miss out on.”

Cost-effective quality and diversity Across Murrplastik’s broad spectrum of products, certain features remain constant. These include the company’s commitment to providing high-quality, innovative products at cost effective prices, and the offer of unrivalled customer service and support worldwide. For example, when it comes to Murrplastik’s cable entry and holding systems, pre-assembled cables and pneumatic lines can be quickly and cost-effectively routed and secured. The direct integration of parts into existing standards, or compatibility with leading control cabinet manufacturers can offer significant cost savings to customers. In addition, Murrplastik Systemtechnik has launched new suction tubing brackets for its cable drag chains which also add significant value to its product range. These drag chain systems offer the smart solution as they supply mobile equipment with both power and data. Thanks to Murrplastik’s modular system it is now simple to ensure the safe routing of this kind of suction tubing, which can be used for the removal of airborne particulates or welding gases in the workplace. In woodworking too, waste in the form of chippings and sawdust can be efficiently removed. Since many different diameters of Murrplastik’s tubing are available, these value-added brackets can be n supplied in several different sizes. For further information about Murplastik’s latest innovative products and services visit:

GLOBAL REFRIGERATION SPECIALIST The EPTA Group is a renowned global leader in the commercial refrigeration market. Despite the challenging economic climate it has been growing continuously in the past few years. Industry Europe looks at the company’s recent global expansion and dedication to innovation.

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PTA Group is the European market leader in commercial refrigeration and a widely respected global partner for food retailers, with its five main product areas of cold rooms, refrigerated packs, special cold cases, mainstream cases and their installation and maintenance. Offering five wellestablished commercial refrigeration brands, EPTA appreciates its position as the partner of choice for retailers looking for turnkey solutions. Its brand portfolio, including Costan, Bonnet Névé, BKT, George Barker and Euro’Cryor, has allowed it to continue to grow throughout the global recession. Active worldwide, EPTA is currently strongest in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Its extended portfolio still has potential for growth in both emerging markets and traditional markets where commercial refrigeration for the food sector has either room to grow or would welcome increased competition.

Acquisitions and partnerships During these challenging economic times the company has focused on gaining market share domestically, throughout Europe and even farther afield. Its strategy is to acquire companies within the commercial refrigeration sector to support its long-term aims. For example this year (2013) the company expanded in South America after announcing the acquisition of Portanuova SA’s commercial refrigeration division – a distributor of leading-brand products in Chile, Peru and Ecuador, with a turnover of around €11 million in 2012. This transaction has led to the establishment of Epta Pacifico Sur SA. In addition to acquisitions, Epta has continued to focus on gaining market share in its traditional European market. One means through which it has been able to achieve this is the establishment of strategic partnerships. For example, in February 2013 it announced a strategic union with IARP – an

Italian leader in the production and marketing of plug-in units. With this move, the Epta and IARP groups have created one single group whose size and production capacity, at international level, can meet any market challenges. The new group is expected to have annual revenues of around €650 million, with 12 plants in Europe, Asia and South America. Another reason for Epta’s consistently strong performance in a difficult economy is the fact that it serves the entire food industry. This means that whether people are buying luxury goods or buying cheaper goods in bulk, retailers will always need commercial refrigeration units to stock the food.

Improving product offering Epta has always been dedicated to the commercial refrigeration sector and to proving itself a reliable partner for its clients’ long-term needs. To maintain its reputation

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DDL Stampaggio was established in 2010. The founder’s partners all operate in the areas of planning and equipment manufacture. This is in order to coordinate and create group synergies to better meet the needs of clients. It operates in the sector of die construction and cold plate stamping, using an office for planning, toolmakers for the construction of dies and different departments for stamping. The society’s structure is adequately covered in all of its main functions: • management • financial • buyers

• sales • planning • quality insurance

The company’s quality system is certified to the VISION 2000 standard according to the criteria required by the automotive sector. Besides this, the production processes of all its departments are certified according to the ISO 9001-2000 standard for quality.

D.D.L. Stampaggio S.r.l. Via Casnedi, 78–23868–Valmadrera (LC) E-mail:

Founded in 1984, the Placisa SA specialises in precision and high-performance injection moulds. We produce small-sized technical parts injected in thermoplastic materials, from 0.5 gr to 600 gr. Producing over 80 moulds per year, our target industries include: • Electronic Components • Medical Devices

• Elevators & Access Control • The Automotive Industry

Also within the Placisa Group, Plasmold Engineering offers product design and development, CAE Studies and Prototyping, Quick Turnkey Projects, Dedicated Special Projects Management, Outsourcing Follow-up Team services and CMM Dimensional Reports.

in the global markets that it serves it is dedicated to improving all aspects of its offer. In addition to its product range, this means improved customer services and increased flexibility. Sustainability is always a very important focus for the company as well – something which is fundamental to each new product and technological innovation. For example, in August this year the company introduced its revolutionary new remote monitoring service. Thanks to the constant monitoring of parameters, this allows clients to guarantee cold chain consistency in stores and ensure reduced energy consumption. This service utilises the expertise of a team that is capable of decoding alarms and troubleshooting problems in real time, so that systems can

be serviced quickly and effectively. This service can reduce energy consumption by an impressive 20 per cent. Alongside environmental concerns, Epta’s R&D team also concerns itself with the allimportant issue of food safety. To this end, in July last year it began offering its new antibacterial treatment for traditional units using silver ions. With this solution, the materials inside the unit are treated during the extrusion and coating processes, while internal parts are coated with a special paint that exploits the properties of silver ions. The active principle of silver is one of the oldest antiseptics in use as it is able to block bacteria development. Developments in nanotechnology have allowed companies such as Epta to apply this principle far more effectively.

Poised for further growth One of the biggest events to affect the retail industry in recent years has been the French government’s announcement that all food retailers will have to display cold food such as meat and cheese behind glass doors by 2020, rather than the open chilled cabinets that are currently used. With EPTA able to supply these units, it is keen to highlight its capabilities in meeting this new regulation. EPTA expects to continue to grow in the coming years, owing to its dedication to meeting customers’ needs, acquiring new companies that will boost its presence in the commercial refrigeration sector while enabling it to gain new market share in countries outside n its traditional European heartland.

SUSTAINABILITY IN HIGH PERFORMANCE FIBREBASED MATERIALS Long-established manufacturer of high performance fibre-based materials, Ahlstrom, is focused on sustainability, economic, social and environmental. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Anna Wessman, Ahlstrom’s vice-president of sustainability, to learn more.

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stablished in Finland in 1851, Ahlstrom has evolved from a diversified conglomerate into a focused specialist. Its core activities are dedicated to the manufacture of high-performance fibre-based materials, speciality nonwovens and papers, from natural and synthetic fibres. The company supplies these materials to industrial customers for further processing, with applications across a range of industries including construction, automotive, healthcare, food and beverages, energy and water. Ahlstrom has four key business areas, Advanced Filtration, Building and Energy, Food and Medical and Transportation Filtration all offering value added fibre-based materials to their customers. It enjoys a wide customer base; none of Ahlstrom’s customers have a dominating position, with its ten biggest customers constituting just 20 per cent of net sales. This gives the company a very

strong, well-balanced position across market segments and has proved to be a profitable strategy during the economic downturn. In 2012, Ahlstrom employed over 5000 people worldwide and its net sales amounted to approximately €1.6 billion. This year after the Label and Processing business area demerger the sales are some €1 billion with over 3800 employees. With operations in more than 20 countries on six continents, it truly is a worldwide company.

Green and global Recognising the global megatrends of environmental awareness, resource scarcity and demographics and urbanisation, its unique expertise in fibres, chemistry and materials technology enable Ahlstrom to create products with sustainability as a driver. Vice-president for sustainability, Anna Wessman, is dedicated

to ensuring that the whole company works in as responsible a manner as possible, for the benefit of the environment, the business and its people, both employees and customers. Ms Wessman spoke to Industry Europe about how this is being achieved. She said, “We have a leading market position in all the sectors where we are active and we have been established for over 160 years. With sustainability in mind, we make products that protect people, purify air and liquids and provide surface and structure to our customers’ products. As all human activity has an impact on the environment, we only want to make products with purpose, such that are truly needed by people. With them we help our customers to achieve their own sustainability goals.” Economic responsibility at Ahlstrom is characterised by its responsible business conduct. As a company, it observes the law

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of the host country, offers local job opportunities, pays local and national taxes and brings prosperity to the region. Ahlstrom’s social responsibility is also a natural part of how the company operates, with safety, taking care of employees and offering excellent training and personal development all central issues. Furthermore, the products with purpose are made in order to have a favourable social impact. Environmental responsibility is certainly an area where Ahlstrom shines. Passionate about both finding innovative ways to enhance its green performance and to minimise the environmental impact of its operations, Ahlstrom’s focus is throughout its entire process. Ms Wessman continued, “Our environmental responsibility programme starts in product development where 80 per cent of the environmental impacts of products are determined. We are committed to EcoDesign. All our plants are environmentally certified. We only buy pulp from companies that are certified, so that we can guarantee that the whole of our value chain is committed to sustainability too.”

Identifying excellence Ahlstrom has identified five key performance indicators that support its sustainability programme and reflect its targets with regard to reduced environmental impact. Water intake, electrical efficiency, fuel energy, waste to landfill and CO2 emissions are all major areas of importance, with each area given substantial concentration. Ms Wessman pointed out, “We have set ourselves a zero waste to landfill target to be achieved by 2015.” With 91 per cent of its fibre raw materials coming from renewable sources in 2012 and all its wood fibre suppliers having thirdparty certification in their forests, responsible sourcing and knowing the origin of the fibres is an important issue. Ahlstrom’s vision is to be inspiring people, passionate about new ideas and growing with customers. Ms Wessman added, “We are continually driven to create sustainable and profitable relationships with our customers. By offering competitively priced, value added products to our customers across the world we will continue to grow and succeed. As all of our products are developed and

manufactured in as sustainable a manner as possible, our customers can work with us safe in the knowledge that we can positively contribute to their own sustainability aims n and help them stay ahead.”

TEXTILES FROM HUNGARY Coats Hungary is a part of Coats plc, the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of threads, yarns and textile crafts for industrial and consumer markets. The two Hungarian facilities, based in Ujpest and Nagyatad, produce more than 1400 tons of products per year between them. Industry Europe looks at the operations of this important European division of the global brand.


oats is the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textiles crafts business employing 20,000 people in over 70 countries. Coats’ Újpest facility is its longest-established Hungarian base and produces yarn for sectors such leather goods including handbags, luggage and shoes, automotive, footwear, bedding, quilting, furniture, outdoor and camping goods, linen suture, feminine hygiene and filtration products, to name just a few. Originally established in 1923, the plant has undergone a number of improvements to enable it to meet current market demands. The facility has state-of-the-art machinery to enable the production of goods that meet exacting standards including, ÖKO TEX 100 Textile Certificate Class 1, ISO 13 485 Medical Certificate for Suture thread and ISO TS 16949 Automotive Certificate. An important factor for all these accreditations is an ongoing commitment to quality. The Újpest site employs more than 250 staff and Coats places great emphasis

on the health and safety of its workers. The HSE committee is led by the operators themselves, as they have the greatest experience of the risks faced and potential hazards in the work place. Recent initiatives to improve staff and visitor safety at the site include a new visitor card incorporating site safety rules and the provision of a new HSE room for training and development.

plant and in 1997 once again took 100 per cent ownership of the site. The need to improve the site and introduce more efficient machinery was identified and a substantial capital investment has been made to bring the plant in line with the rest of the Coats’ operations. This investment ensures that the facility is set to meet future demand in the most efficient manner.

Focused on efficiency

A commitment to quality

While Újpest produces thread and yarn for industrial markets, the facility in Nagyatád is focused on providing products that serve the consumer crafts market. Located in the south of the country, it covers 250,000 sq. ft across a 15-acre site and employs some 400 staff. The facility provides products for European markets as well exporting to the USA, Mexico and the Far East. Coats’ involvement with Nagyatád first began in 1934 and lasted until nationalisation in 1949. During the 1990s Coats was able to re-establish relations with the Nagyatád

Producing quality products to a consistently high standard takes a great deal of skill and focus. All processes need to be reviewed and challenged on a regular basis to ensure a plant is working to its optimum capacity. Both Újpest and Nagyatád are well aware of the need for constant monitoring and have introduced the Six Sigma business management strategy. The Six Sigma approach to business requires effective leadership and fact-based decision making. This methodology is dependent on a strong, effective and committed

Quality - in line with the environment Our textile auxiliaries and dyestuffs are high-tech chemicals of premium quality: • Highly effective • Ecologically optimised • Made of standardised raw materials • Produced by qualified employees in accurately controlled process steps • Each single batch is checked When designing and manufacturing our products we take the utmost care to ensure our products are safe for the user , end consumer and the environment.

TEXTILCOLOR TEXTILCOLOR has been supplying customers in the textile industry all over the world with textile auxiliaries, dyestuffs and optical brighteners. Today the enterprise with the headquarter in Switzerland and two further production sites in Belarus and Turkey delivers its products globally. With an own development department, equipped with latest technology and ultramodern analytics, the company provides most modern products of (the typically) highest Swiss quality for the customers. Certifications according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 guarantee top products and the consideration of the environment at the same time. Computer controlled production ensures constancy in the quality level. Skilled and experienced technicians supported by in-house specialists and effective laboratories are always at our customer’s disposal to solve problems, recommend the right product for the right purpose and enable our customers to benefit from innovation. Our know-how – your advantage! This has been our maxim and the basis for mutual success.

management. The use of a belt system similar to that in judo identifies experts and managers and provides a robust yet flexible management system to help ensure the plant is working at optimum efficiency.

Corporate responsibility In Hungary, Coats has been consistently investing in staff training and development, providing additional facilities to ensure that the company and its people are best placed for the future. Coats has recently been working to improve employees’ access to

information throughout the organisation. At its second Hungarian facility, in Nagyatád, a number of initiatives have formed part of its employee engagement action plan. This includes six-monthly meetings of the entire plant to hear performance results and an international website for employees. It is often said that the most important thing in business is a strong brand. With a history dating back to 1755 Coats has a strong brand, but how do you maintain that recognition and tradition? The answer is to constantly adapt and adjust to meet new challenges.

Over the past few years Coats has worked to embed its vision of corporate responsibility throughout its global operations. Coats’ commitment to its staff and customers is based on trust and a dedication to high standards, ethical manufacturing, minimal environmental impact, supportive people management, effective partnerships, communication with local communities and quality products. Working to achieve sustainability across all businesses will help Coats maintain its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of n thread, yarn and textile crafts.

Industry Europe 175

176 Industry Europe


DISPOSABLES Under its new leadership, Ontex is expanding its skills base, its geographical presence and its branded products business while continuing an ambitious programme to reduce its environmental impact. Peter Mercer talks to its new CEO.


January of this year Ontex, a European market leader in hygienic disposable products for baby, feminine and adult care, acquired a new CEO. Charles Bouaziz took over the leadership of the Belgium headquartered group from Michael Teacher, who had been CEO since 2006. Welcoming the new CEO, Ontex Chairman, Adrian Bellamy, emphasised how important his role would be in continuing the successful track record of the business and the expansion into new geographies and new growth areas that had been achieved by Michael Teacher and CFO Chris Parratt over the past six years. “Charles Bouaziz’ focus will be to

use his extensive experience in fast-moving consumer goods to continue strengthening the Group’s performance,” he said. In fact, Mr Bouaziz has spent most of his career in the consumer goods industry, including five years in marketing with P&G and nearly 20 years at PepsiCo, where he was appointed as the president of PepsiCo Western Europe in 2008. He was subsequently CEO of Monoprix before joining French private equity company PAI in 2011. Beginning as a family company in Zele, Belgium, Ontex has grown into a global operation with sales of more than €1.4 billion and around 5200 employees across the globe. It

Industry Europe 177

currently operates 15 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Ontex has built up its position as a European market leader in hygienic disposables through a determined focus on retailer brands. Its strategically located manufacturing plants enable it to optimise logistics and deliver products to customers with maximum efficiency and timeliness. In recent years, Ontex has also grown its own brands, especially in emerging markets and in the healthcare sector.

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In fact, production now breaks down into a 60/40 ratio between retail and own brands. The company’s Retail Division is primarily concerned with the development, production and sale of baby care, feminine care and adult incontinence products to retailers across Europe. Ontex also produces and sells its own branded products under names such as Helen Harper, Moltex and Babycharm. The Healthcare division similarly focuses on the

development, production and sale of adult incontinence products to institutional customers in the healthcare market. The main Ontex brands here are Serenity, ID and Euron. Ontex also has an important operation in Turkey which similarly produces and sells baby care, feminine care and adult incontinence products across Turkey and neighbouring markets. Here the main brands are Canbebe, Helen Harper and Canped.

Expanding branded business It is this expansion into the production and marketing of its own brands while strengthening the retailer brands that Charles Bouaziz sees as his most immediate priority. “Ontex is a very strong company, with streamlined and highly efficient manufacturing sites and a clear focus on product development and innova-

180 Industry Europe

tion,” he explains. “But as we move from our historic focus on European retailer brands towards more geographical markets and the expansion of our own branded business we need to develop a broader set of skills, specifically in marketing. Carefully balancing retailer brands and own brands will accelerate our growth. We need to be thoroughly profes-

sional in this area, especially since in tough economic times consumers tend to go for products with the best price/quality ratio.” Mr Bouaziz adds that Ontex has fascinating growth opportunities across the world. “In western Europe there is still plenty of room to expand our retail business in baby care and feminine care products, particularly

as other major producers exit the market, and an ageing population means growing demand for our incontinence products. Beyond Europe there are many countries that are experiencing very high growth in birth rates so there is a huge demand for baby care products such as nappies, wipes, pants etc. We need to identify the most promising markets and move into them, initially through sales and marketing and then, if appropriate, with local production lines. “Sometimes this can most efficiently be achieved through strategic acquisitions. The addition of Lille Healthcare to the Group in 2011, for example, brought us not only a leading French producer of incontinence products but also an extended coverage in Australia. Now we are opening a nappy production plant in Pakistan and growing our business in the North African markets.”

Acquisitions and rationalisations Ontex’s presence in the branded and incontinence market was strengthened further in February of this year when it agreed to acquire Artsana Sud SpA from the Artsana Group. Artsana Sud is a leading manufacturer and distributor of incontinence products under the Serenity brand in Italy. “Until this year we had a limited presence in Italy but now Serenity has brought us an important manufacturing site, products and people,” explains Charles Bouaziz. “And, of course, Serenity is a wellknown brand so its acquisition has accelerated our move into branded healthcare products. We are investigating the opportunity of marketing the Serenity brand throughout Europe to seize its growth potential.” Ontex has also announced its intention to regroup its production sites in the north of France. The plan is to concentrate its production sites at Arras and Wasquehal into a new facility to be located halfway between

182 Industry Europe

the two. Ontex has explained to its employee representatives that no jobs will be lost as a result of this project – all workers will simply transfer to the new, state-of-the-art facility. “Following our acquisition of Lille Healthcare we were operating two sites in northern France within 50km of each other so it made obvious sense to consolidate production,” says Mr Bouaziz. “We will not only improve manufacturing efficiency but also our inventory and logistics operations. We are currently assessing the options for a greenfield or existing manufacturing site but

184 Industry Europe

we are confident that a new single facility will strengthen our operating footprint in France and help us prepare for further growth.”

Environmental priorities Ontex maintains a strong focus on product development and innovation in order to continually improve the comfort and performance of its products. The role of its R&D teams, which are based in each key manufacturing unit as well as at its Zele headquarters, is to enable the group to work on new concepts and product specifications, to

validate new raw materials and to optimise the use of current raw materials. This R&D effort is closely linked to Ontex’s commitment to minimising the impact of its activities on the environment. Its sustainability programme focuses on energy savings, transport efficiency, packaging optimisation and the search for more eco-friendly and lightweight raw materials. For example, continual product development has enabled the company to drastically reduce the amount of fluff pulp – its main raw material – used in its production processes

and it ensures that all its fluff pulp comes from suppliers that subscribe to responsible sourcing programmes. And every Ontex plant has an action plan to reduce electricity consumption. In fact, Ontex’s Belgian production plants are all run exclusively on renewable energy and its plant at Buggenhout has deployed a large number of solar panels on the roofs of its major warehouses – an initiative other plants are looking to follow. Also at Buggenhout, an energy recuperation unit recycles part of the mixed waste to provide energy to heat the entire site in the winter and cool it in summer. “It is vitally important that we behave responsibly by reducing energy consumption and raw material volumes as well as minimising waste,” says Charles Bouaziz. “We are also working with our key suppliers on the development of alternative, biodegradable raw materials. But we have to also remember that the primary goal of everything we do is to satisfy our customers and consumers, and the fact is that at the moment most alternative materials cost more and, particularly in the current eco-

nomic conditions, most consumers don’t want to pay any more. So we have to look to increasing the scale of our operations to get production cost economies that will help to offset the increased costs of these alternative raw materials.

“For Ontex, customers and consumers will always come first and all our operations – in R&D, production, marketing and sales – have to work together to understand their needs and then to satisfy them in ever n better ways.”

Industry Europe 187


FOR LOGISTICS LEADER Hungarian transport logistics group Waberer’s Holding Zrt is the market-leading logistics service provider in Hungary and central eastern Europe. The companies within the group provide a global range of logistics services and it constantly expands its fleet to meet increasing demands. Industry Europe looks at its activities.

188 Industry Europe


oad transportation is the simplest and most secure form of logistics; however, without flexibility and efficiency a company cannot succeed in this industry. In order to provide more flexible customer service and to improve operational efficiency, in 2010, Waberer’s changed its company structure and shared out the majority of its fleet of 2300 vehicles to smaller individual enterprises holding 60–100 trucks each. As the company reacts quickly to changing market needs, the most advanced information technology systems and tools have also been implemented to run the new type of operations efficiently. Whilst the mediumsized companies operate as individual enterprises, they are still backed up by the holding’s incredible financial power and provided with the support of its international business network system. The year 2012 marked another chance for Waberer’s when four companies within the Group – Waberer’s International Pte.

Co., Delta Sped Ltd, Interszerviz Ltd and Inforatio Ltd – merged with Waberer’s Holding, thereby becoming Waberer’s International Pte. Co. In 2013, the Hungarian Competition Authority approved the merger of Waberer’s Logistics Ltd and Szemerey Transport Inc. The companies will continue to operate under a common ownership structure led by a unified management. They are respectively Hungary’s leading logistics enterprise and the market leader in domestic refrigerated freight and distribution. Their combined logistics fleet, now under unified management, is able to satisfy all logistical needs related to refrigerated, fresh and dry goods to the highest standards.

Company history Established in 1948, Waberer’s predecessor Volan was previously a state-owned road cargo transportation company which was privatised in 1994 by entrepreneur György

Wáberer and his associates. As a result of the turnaround strategy implemented by the new management in 1994, the company established new foundations and began a series of acquisitions to extend its product and service portfolio. In 2001 the company partnered with MAV (Hungarian State Railways) and began to develop the BILK (Budapest Intermodal Logistics Centre), central Europe’s largest forwarding and logistics centre. As a result of the acquisition of Hungarocamion Co. in 2002, the company became a market leader in Hungary and gained a significant presence in eastern and central Europe. In 2003 the company was once again restructured, changing its name to Waberer’s and introducing its unique customer service system, Waberer’s Optimum Solution. In 2005 the company began its regional expansion by establishing subsidiaries in Slovakia, Poland, Romania and Spain. Today Waberer’s Holding is the sixth largest road haulage company in Europe, offering a wide

Industry Europe 189

portfolio which includes national and international transportation, international forwarding, logistics, customs services, property development and vehicle repair.

Sustaining growth Waberer’s mid-term plan is to double its sales revenues by organic growth and through acquisitions. The company aims to achieve organic growth by continuously improving efficiency and by enhancing the exploitation of all markets. To this end, it has been taking over medium-sized transportation companies in countries including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Poland.

190 Industry Europe

The year 2012 was a successful one for Waberer’s, with revenue reaching €377.5 million. At the end of 2012 it upgraded its fleet with the purchase of 700 new trucks and 500 new trailers, and expanded its size by 130 vehicles. Furthermore, the acquisition of internationally successful Hungarian-owned Transport Hungaria Ltd was completed and it purchased the majority share of Szemerey Transport Inc., a homeland market leader in refrigerated freight. Its business plan for the next year will be more ambitious still. Another priority for the company will be the continued expansion of its fleet capacities. Its main supplier is Volvo, but many

vehicles are provided by the two other leading vehicle manufacturers, DAF and MAN. More than 90 per cent of the multifunctional trailers are supplied by Schmitz, whilst the rest are manufactured by Krone and Schwarzmüller. Reviewing its business on a regular basis and being prepared to make tough decisions have ensured that Waberer’s has not only survived the recession but has actually increased its profits and provided new jobs. Excellent service and an effective communication plan have allowed it to increase prices, whilst other companies have ceased trading or struggled to meet their costs. n


CONDITIONING TECHNOLOGIES Fives Stein Ltd is a global leader in the design and supply of high-quality glass melting, conditioning and furnace boosting systems for all types of glass products. Philip Yorke talked to Kevin Rivers, the company’s sales support manager about its unique niche products and move into new market sectors.

192 Industry Europe


ives Stein Ltd was founded in the UK in 2008 and is the result of a merger between two of Britain’s most famous brands in the glass melting industry. These are BH-F (Engineering) Ltd and Penelectro Ltd. BH-F was founded in 1917 was responsible for the first introduction to Britain of a modern glass feeder. By the end of the 1970s BH-F had positioned itself as a leading specialist in the supply of specialised equipment for glass conditioning and gob forming. By the end of the 1980s the company’s 400 series of forehearths were being utilised by the majority of glass manufacturers worldwide. ‘Penelectro’ was established in the late 1950s, and it was re-established as an independent company in 1993. They were a specialist supplier of electric melting technology and the company became an integral part of the Fives Group in 1999. Penelectro has been particularly successful in the development of furnaces for borosilicate and neutral glasses and in larger, specialist boosting systems for E-glass and ECR glass-fibre production.

Together these two companies offer an unrivalled level of expertise and experience and complement the broad product portfolio of the international Fives Stein Glass Group. Today Fives Stein Ltd stands out as a premier engineering and hot-end-equipment specialist supplier of new glassmakers and has already delivered equipment to many customers worldwide.

Prioritising R&D With many active global patents, Fives Stein places a high priority on its investment in research and development. Its main focus today is centred on melting furnaces, conditioning lines and delivery equipment to the forming process. The company’s powerful calculation and modelling resources help master the complex phenomena occurring in combustion enclosures and glass melting furnaces. The most advanced testing and measurement tools are also available to rigorously test new equipment and to validate the results. Today, Fives Stein’s unrivalled

expertise in supplying thermal equipment and advanced technology furnaces places them at the forefront of their industry. Mr Rivers said, “We have always been a technology-driven company and are an independent operating company within the global Fives Group. Large projects, such as float glass contracts are handled by our parent company but we do make small, high-tech furnaces for special applications. We also make a lot of equipment for the conditioning of molten glass for the container, flaconnage and tableware industries. “We have the benefit of a worldwide customer base and two of our biggest markets are the Middle East and Asia. We also serve our European markets and are doing an increasing amount of business in Russia via our trading partners. However, in terms of future growth we have turned our attention to Brazil and the South American markets. “We can utilise Fives Group offices worldwide for customer support services in these regions, and we also have agents in North

Industry Europe 193

America, China, Italy, the Philippines, Japan and South Korea.” Mr Rivers added, “We offer a broad range of standard products but these are usually tailored to suit a specific customer’s needs. We also provide modular systems, and work closely with our customers to develop new products, and we carry out R&D with them on-

194 Industry Europe

the-run. A new and interesting business sector for us is the growing demand for touch-screen glass, where we are already well established and where we have plans to set up further units to meet the increasing global demand. As I said earlier, we specialise in small furnaces that are capable of handling 20–70 tonnes and these are generally designed for use with

high-end value products. This tonnage is tiny compared to our parent company’s float glass furnaces, which are designed to handle over 800 tonnes of glass per day. “We continue to invest heavily in new technology and not only utilise our resources in the UK but also our group’s facilities and the expertise of others specialists, particu-

larly for mathematical modelling. One of the most exciting projects at this time is our development of new technologies in glass melting, which will revolutionise the current methods of glass production.”

Commitment to core values Fives Stein’s commitment to its customers goes beyond high standards of technical support and a customer orientated culture. The company’s objective is to be the leading thermal engineering company in the glass industry worldwide, creating added value through its development of advanced solutions which are designed to offer additional benefits to customers. In addition, the company strives to achieve superior business performance at all levels of its operations. Yet another important commitment is a focus on health and safety as well as an ongoing environmental programme that is designed to lead towards sustainable development in the future. Fives Stein’s certification to ISO 9001: 2000 underscores its determination to live up to and exceed its n customers’ expectations. For further details of Fives Stein’s innovative glass furnace products and services visit:

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Articles inside

Advanced glass melting and conditioning technologies Fives Stein

pages 194-200

Continuous expansion for logistics Waberer’s Holding

pages 190-193

Sustainability in high performance fibre-based materials Ahlstrom

pages 170-173

Textiles from Hungary Coats Hungary

pages 174-177

Leading the way in hygienic disposables Ontex

pages 178-189

Global refrigeration specialist EPTA Group

pages 166-169

Integrated single-source cable solutions Murrplastik

pages 162-165

Niche market success Advansa

pages 158-161

Growing in world markets Gruppo Plocco Steel

pages 154-157

Precision powder metal parts GKN Sinter Metals

pages 150-153

The future power of pulp Sodra

pages 140-146

Revolutionising ballast water treatment

pages 147-149

Excellence in private label products Mispol

pages 136-139

Dairy expert Lacpol Group

pages 132-135

Peklimar – A renowned and trusted brand Peklimar

pages 129-131

The power to succeed under pressure Vulcan

pages 126-128

Going offshore Remazel Engineering

pages 120-125

Specialists in offshore and onshore equipment

pages 116-119

Transforming perceptions of power generation in Europe Electroputere

pages 113-115

Promoting energy efficiency Končar

pages 108-112

Driving in the right direction Nord Motoriduttori

pages 104-107

The latest in power robotics Honda

pages 100-103

Winning the races Elan

pages 93-95

Geared up for growth Gazelle

pages 96-99

Unlocking potential Aza Stenman Industries

pages 90-92

A sunny horizon Coiver Contract

pages 86-89

Building growth through investment Limak Group

pages 78-82

Building a sustainable future Skanska

pages 74-77

Indoor air solutions Swegon

pages 83-85

HACVR and energy plant, engineering and

pages 62-65

Clever design Reynaers

pages 70-73

Opening the door to optimal energy efficiency

pages 66-69

The true all-rounder of construction specialists

pages 58-61

Driven by electronic innovation Meta System

pages 54-57

Creative engagement Stadco

pages 51-53

On the road HYMER

pages 46-50

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 25

Cutting-edge aerospace technology Asco

pages 30-34

Industrial gas springs Stromsholmen

pages 42-45

Working at the high end of the market

pages 38-41

Tier-1 aerospace supplier FACC

pages 26-29

Masters of complex extrusion technology

pages 35-37

Industry awards

page 23

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19

Harnessing the power of hydrogen Fuel cell for

pages 14-15

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 22

Energy news The latest from the industry

pages 11-13

Should Europe cap energy prices? Who finally pays?

pages 8-10

Bill Jamieson

page 6

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17
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