Industry Europe – Issue 23.4

Page 1

VOLUME 23/4 – 2013 • €6

The world of European manufacturing






Germany’s choice Germany is getting little thanks for its attempts to save the euro. Maybe a radical solution is required.


the weeks since the death of Margaret Thatcher the British have been reminded of many things. Perhaps the most ironic of those memories was how prescient she had, after all, been in 1990 about the fate awaiting the countries that were pressing ahead with economic and monetary union. We recalled how she had explained to John Major, her Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, that, in a single currency ‘Germany and France would finish up paying all the regional subventions which the poorer countries would insist upon if they were going to lose their ability to compete on the basis of a currency that reflected their economic performance.’ Britain, she thought, could remind Germany of the inevitable weakening of its cherished antiinflation policies that the single currency would bring and warn the weaker countries of the devastation that it would wreak upon their inefficient economies. Surely if the ‘harsh realities’ were made plain, they would all ‘think twice’. Well, of course, they didn’t. No doubt in the days of the great euro boom, when German interest rates and German creditworthiness made millions for Spanish and Irish property developers and gave every other Greek a Mercedes, her prophecies of doom seemed to have been proved absurd but nemesis was only waiting. The ‘poorer countries’ have indeed been devastated and are trapped in debt and unemployment while Germany has indeed been required to pick up the bill and is daily urged to inflate demand to lift its partners out of misery. In the end, then, it was not Mrs Thatcher who was delusional but the pragmatic statesmen who derided her eccentric intransigence and the good friends who forced her from office. But while she correctly foresaw that it would be Germany that would have to pay to keep the single currency afloat she could

hardly have imagined how great that burden would be. Currently the German taxpayer is guaranteeing some €100 billion in ESM loans to Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and now Cyprus and the German Taxpayers Association estimates that if more countries request aid that obligation could rise to more than €500 billion. On the other hand, she might not have been surprised to learn that this munificence has been met in the debtor countries with something less than gratitude. Germany is everywhere abused for driving the southern European countries into penury with its insistence on austerity programmes and the streets are full of crude images of Angela Merkel with a Hitler moustache.

It can’t be true Now, to add injury to insult, the Germans have learned that they are, in fact, far poorer than the southern cousins they are struggling to support. An ECB study reveals that the average German household has assets of €195,000, some €100,000 less than the average Spanish household. In Cyprus, where they are waving all those abusive placards, net assets per household are a remarkable €670,000. In terms of median net wealth, the figures are even more startling: Germany is in last place in the eurozone with €51,000 per household while Cyprus – again – is up there at €267,000. No doubt some of this is explained by different patterns of home ownership – Germans tend to rent – and some of the property valuations may be out of date but none of that is likely to make German citizens any less indignant. Of course these findings are seriously counter-intuitive. We are all pretty sure that, in fact, the average German household is not poorer than the average Spanish household (never mind the Cypriot) so the figures must express some other discrepancy. Wolfgang Munchau has pointed out, in the Financial Times, that if an apartment in Milan costs a

lot more than an apartment in Munich that is because a German euro buys more than an Italian euro. The difference in asset prices has been caused by inflation in the southern countries, where wages and prices have increased steadily while in Germany they have remained steady. What the survey reveals, he says, is not actual wealth differentials but the de facto exchange rate between the eurozone countries. The reality is that the unit of account is not really the same across the eurozone – Spain (and the rest) and Germany have a different euro. The ECB study has made plain that ‘Germany has its own currency – the German euro – and it is massively undervalued’. What can be done? George Soros has a suggestion. Writing in Der Spiegel, he says that Germany really has only two choices in the long run: accept eurobonds or leave the euro. If countries were allowed to convert their stock of government debt into eurobonds, “the danger of default would disappear, as would risk premiums; banks’ balance sheets would receive an immediate boost as would the heavily indebted countries’ budgets.” Fiscal stimulus would replace austerity, economies would grow. The nightmare would be over. But Germany is adamantly opposed to eurobonds. Well then, says Soros, it should leave the euro and enable the rest to issue them. “If Germany left, the euro would depreciate. The debtor countries would regain their competitiveness. Their debt would diminish in real terms and, if they issued eurobonds, the threat of default would disappear.” The crucial point is that if Italy, say, left the euro its euro-denominated debt would become unsustainable but if Germany left, the debts of the rest would become more sustainable. The costs to Germany of either course would be real but less, he argues, than continuing to muddle along. Of course, you need a Thatcher to make n that kind of hard choice. 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 p6 Automotive industry

Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs Sector Managers Matthew Howe Eniko Kovacs Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo Helen Leisi Mac McCarthy Anthony McClintock Ben Snowing Anna Dudek Stephen Moore Richard Thomas John Cliff Martin Gisborne Victoria Pease Daniel Sands Gabdi Saunders

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

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

Comment 1 4 5

Opinion Germany’s choice Bill Jamieson End game? James Srodes Not a Dark Age, just Fifty Shades of Grey

Automotive Industry 6 9

Crisis management The money is on niche models Automotive news The latest from the industry

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 12 22 23

Ancient city builds future-proof new water supply system Como’s new treatment plant Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

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

4 Industry Europe

24 27 32

Good connections Eisele Pneumatics Partnerships in supply Stima Developing tomorrow’s specialised polymer technologies Teknikum

Automotive 37 42 46 50 54 57 62

Smart suspension parts Frauenthal Automotive Screws and metal components for cars Finnveden Polska

Motive power Inci Aku Specialists in cooling technology Nissens Keep it clean Dürr Ecoclean Driving automotive efficiency further Hilite Opening up new opportunities for aluminium Hydro Aluminium

VOL 23/4

Above: Absolut p148

Building & Construction


65 68 72 76 80

167 170 174 179

Complete construction solutions Byggma World class construction machinery Hidromek Energy-efficient windows Inwido Family concrete specialist Kronimus High-class engineering Trimo

Chemicals 85 90 94

The Sika spirit Sika Natural advantage Oleon The right chemistry Perstorp

182 Strong in steel Vlassenroot

Measurement & Control

Karl Conzelmann

Arctic force of nature Lumene Leading by listening Godrej

Metals & Metalworking

Track record of success OJSC Arnest Lingerie for the modern woman

Energy 112 117 120 123 128 132 136

Materials Handling

184 188 192 193

Consumer Goods 98 102 106 109

Experience and innovation DEME Offshore innovation Bourbon APL A global partner A one-stop service TransAtlantic

Solutions for the oil and gas industry GE Oil & Gas

European power player Alstom Power Fast-flowing technology Logstor Modern technology for energy Rafako Imagine the energy Gehrlicher Solar Increasing efficiency The Hamon Group Growth in wind energy Hydra Tech

196 202 206 210 213 216

Sensing the difference with amazing skills Sensonor

Driving powertrain technology forward Rexnord

Leading in sensor technology Sensirion Global leader in welding and cutting ESAB

Extreme precision Bruno Presezzi Unique track record for heavy engineering IGM Robotersysteme

Long-term solutions SHW Werkseugmaschinen More than iron ore LKAB Meeting all refractory needs SANAC Quantity, quality and quickness Danieli Automation

Plastics 220 Putting a gloss on it Athlone Extrusions

Food & Drink 140 The natural upgrade Agrana 144 Quality and sustainability Valio 148 Making a marketing masterpiece Absolut

Forest Products 153 Double-click for success Unilin 156 Global leaders in paper products SCA

Heavy Vehicles 160 Driving innovation forward BKT 164 Delivering unique, heavy-haulage technology Doll Fahrzeugbau

Above: Karl Conzelmann p102 Below: Doll Fahrzeugbau p164

Above: Sensonor p184 Below: Hukla Möbel p240

Transport & Logistics 224 The evolution of mobility Bombardier 228 Combined excellence in container services Contargo

Also in this issue... 232 236 240 243

Specialists in sound ASK The heart of the home Jøtul Constant progress Hukla Möbel “We build the future together” OE Industry

Industry Europe 5




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

End game? As Germany seethes, a money-rush plan to save the euro.


rom Cyprus to Slovenia, to Italy to Portugal and back to Cyprus in between: who still believes the worst of the euro crisis is over? And how is it that tiny inconsequential economies like Cyprus and Slovenia could hold up a eurozone recovery? How has it all come back to this? Well might European Central Bank governor Mario Draghi seek to douse public attention on the eurozone’s continuing crisis. “Move along. Nothing to see here” has been the prevailing attitude at the Bank as it delayed moves last month to loosen monetary policy. Yet no sooner did the Cyprus crisis appear to be cauterised – at horrific cost to its economy and its banking system – than it became clear the country needed to raise even more money. The cost of the bail-out has turned out not to be €17 billion but €23 billion. And as the IMF-ECB-EU troika is not prepared to chip in any more, the extra €6 billion has to be found – by Cyprus. That immediately sparked concerns in other ‘Club Med’ euro members that they, too, may soon be back in the firing line – only this time with the precedents of strict capital controls and a raid on bank deposits as legitimate measures firmly established in the armoury of official responses. So far the worst-hit economies have backed away from the option of leaving the single currency because of the big hit that would be suffered by pension funds and bank depositors. But with the pain of staying in continuing to mount, Cyprus may now have been pushed to a tipping point: the pain of staying in may be greater than pulling out. And pressure to exit would be intensified were the country to seek to raise the extra cash by further raids on those big bank deposits or be forced to impose, as Germany has suggested, a property wealth tax. This would intensify capital flight and kill the country’s tourism industry. 6 Industry Europe

Now Slovenia is feeling the heat. A highly critical OECD report on the country’s banking system has triggered fears that, as its banking system is largely state-owned, bank liabilities in the event of default would readily become state liabilities, pushing the country’s debt-toGDP ratio, now 55 per cent, to more than 120 per cent.

In the face of a capital flight from many eurozone banks and mounting apprehension about a domino-style exit from the euro, the ECB may now finally embark on a large and sustained monetary loosening. Excluded from market borrowing, the country would have no option but to turn to the ‘troika’ for help. But questions have already been raised as to the imprudent nature of its bank lending. More than one in seven loans are said to be ‘non-performing’. Approval for a bail-out may thus not be forthcoming.

Slowdown continues This continuing atmosphere of instability and uncertainty has contributed to depressed confidence and continuing slowdown in the economies of the eurozone. While the US looks to be on the recovery trail, GDP across the single currency area is set to shrink both this year and next. Nor is economic contraction confined to southern member states. France is likely to suffer recession this year. And the Dutch economy has been under pressure, with revised GDP figures for 2012 showing a 1.2 per cent fall on the previous year. And the tougher life gets in the north, the greater the likelihood of

a taxpayer revolt – particularly in Germany – against any further bail-out support. Little wonder then that savers and bank depositors in the southern eurozone countries have started to fret that they will suffer a similar fate to those in Cyprus. Haircuts in one country trigger fears that the barber may soon be knocking on their own bank door. A ‘last-resort’ option is now looming large at the ECB. In the face of a capital flight from many eurozone banks and mounting apprehension about a domino-style exit from the euro, the ECB may now finally embark on a large and sustained monetary loosening. Mario Draghi may have ‘talked the talk’ last year when he declared he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to save the euro. But he has shown a marked reluctance so far to ‘walk the walk’. If the experience of America and the UK is anything to go by, the resort to Quantitative Easing would have to be substantial and sustained to have any appreciable effect in pulling the weak eurozone economies out of their nose-dive. It would of course have the double benefit of providing much-needed liquid capital for the banks and triggering a fall in the euro. For the economies of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus, such devaluation, working to make the price of their exports more competitive, could not come soon enough. However, it would effectively expose the eurozone to higher inflation. And as a result, reaction in Germany could prove politically explosive, confirming the fears of many voters that the Deutschmark should never have been surrendered for the euro. And it would be perfectly timed to boost the new euro sceptic Alternative for Germany party which has decided to run in the 22 September general election. Its prospects have been written down by the pundits. But looking at the way events are unfolding across the eurozone, it would be dangerous to place bets on n such an outcome.




Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street

Not a Dark Age, just Fifty Shades of Grey High oil prices may make flatlining the future norm.


believe I found a key that unlocks the conundrum of just what is going wrong in our global industrial economy. Recently, I picked up a book written by the Canadian energy economist Jeff Rubin titled, ‘The Big Flatline; Oil and the No-Growth Economy’ published by Palgrave MacMillan. Rubin is a heavyweight. For 20 years he had been chief economist for the powerful CIBC World Markets investment bank and a respected prognosticator for the Toronto-Wall StreetLondon nexus. Rubin challenges the pervasive myth that a return to growth is an inevitable consequence of one side or other winning the current policy wrangling. His argument boils down to the assertion that when economists and politicians argue about which nostrum – free markets versus more government intrusion – will return us to the halcyon days of euphoric prosperity, they are both wrong. He is not suggesting a ‘New Dark Age,’ which would after all be dramatic enough to spark some radical economic-social experimenting. Instead Rubin sees us mired in a world where most national economies essentially flatline along with a bump of recovery here and there. But overall the global environment will be of lassitude, constraints, increasing inequalities of outcome, and dangerous increases in popular unrest on an international scale.

In short, a Grey Age of multiple shades of diminished expectations, shifting relative advantages and dangerously unexpected crises where war comes to be a palliative response by the world’s leadership elite. Oil remains the lynch-pin factor in the industrial world’s economic future. And, as Rubin emphasises, it is not the supply of burnable petroleum-based fuels that matters so much as the cost of its transfer into useable energy – in a word, the price. “The price of oil is the single most important ingredient in the outlook for the global economy. Feed the world cheap oil and it will run like a charm. Send prices to unaffordable levels and the engine of growth will immediately seize up,” he concludes

Cheap oil gone for ever From a historical perspective Rubin’s argument is unassailable. From 1948 through 1970 world crude oil prices remained at or below three dollars a barrel. The American exuberance that extended its power abroad and promised an endless menu of social ‘entitlements’ at home was subsidised by the addictive rush the economy got from cheap oil. Even import-dependent Europe used the cheap oil subsidy to create their socialist paradises. Simple arithmetic should be enough to convince one that at the current $90-plus price, or at the $120 price by widely forecast by 2015, or at the near $150 price likely a decade

hence, that economic subsidy of cheap oil has vanished. While the new rush toward fracturing of tar sands will release huge supplies of convertible oil and natural gas that is merely an economic stop-gap solution that raises as many future problems as it solves others. No one is sure just what the per-barrel cost of ‘fracking’ oil will turn out to be; the costs of each project vary wildly. But one thing is certain; ‘fracking’ oil will not be cheap. Nor will drilling ever deeper into the offshore deposits bring us another boom in cheap energy. What this requires is extremely delicate policy responses from our political leaders. Yet here in Washington we have a President content to both curtail our development of admittedly expensive domestic hydrocarbon resources while he pours billions into ‘alternative’ energy sources which, when realistically costed-out, cannot produce a energy price profit that encourages growth. It is a simple truth: when one reaches the point in a coal mine where the cost of raising a ton of coal to the surface exceeds the energy the ton of coal will produce, some painful choices must be made. Closing the mine has its own costs, but keeping it in operation (to save jobs or other political considerations) requires that the true price that must be paid has to come from some other part of the economy. This is where ‘fracking’ could be used as a dodge by both

sets of Washington ideologues to avoid making the hard choices that confront us in the New Grey Age. But the Western culture of social entitlements from pensions to health care to lifestyle choices all are up for re-examination. Devotees of smaller government will find much in Rubin’s analysis to cheer about. Noting that the governments of North America currently spend a fifth of the combined gross domestic product, Rubin predicts: “Whether that’s too big or too small to suit your ideological preferences, governments in Europe and North America are facing a diminishing capacity to spend money.” But turning over many suspect government services to the private sector may not be such a good idea either, he asserts. The sad political reality of government budget cutting is that the easiest functions to cut – national defence, domestic infrastructure for transportation, the electrical grid, or education – will be decimated while the social-improvement lobbies prevail. I tend to agree with Rubin’s final argument, “We can still shape the future we want, but only if we’re willing to relinquish the past we’ve known. As the boundaries of a finite world continue to close in on us, our challenge is to learn that making do with less is better than always wanting more.” Can we do that? n Industry Europe 7

Renault Captur - chasing the urban fashion market

CRISIS MANAGEMENT With the financial crisis soon to enter its fifth year, the mainstream automotive industry is well accustomed to unremittingly bad news. Manufacturers are increasingly pinning their hopes on fashionable new niche models. Tony Lewin reports.


umping sales, disappearing margins, programmes put on hold or cancelled, workforces put on short time – all have become part of the automotive industry’s everyday vocabulary. But it is only in the past year or so that the elastic has actually begun to snap in a more abrupt way: all the levers for fine-tuning have been pushed as far as they can go, the inevitable can be delayed no further and the taboo of closing whole factories rather than individual departments is becoming reality. One of the first – and certainly one of the most emotive – of these is the Ford plant in Genk, Belgium, where it makes its larger cars; also being closed are PSA Peugeot Citroen’s plant at Aulnay, near Paris, and General Motors’ Opel plant at Bochum. The axe has been hovering worryingly over a multitude of other facilities, too, including much of Fiat’s production network, while Renault has been 8 Industry Europe

locked in lengthy negotiations to avoid shedding jobs and closing factories in France and Spain. Even Honda, at its Swindon, UK plant, is railing back on its recent expansion and reducing headcount and capacity. Ford’s planned closure of Genk will remove about one fifth of the group’s European capacity, while Aulnay takes out a slightly smaller proportion of PSA’s volume. For Opel, which already closed its smaller facility in Antwerp in 2010, the shuttering of Bochum will further help reduce its European capacity. However, if analysts are to be believed, these moves will barely scratch the surface of Europe’s enormous overcapacity problem in a market that in 2012 fell a further 8.2 per cent to 12.5 million vehicles sold – the level it was at in 1995. Yet excess capacity is hardly a new phenomenon: even in the European market’s 2007 pre-crash heyday, when almost 16 million cars found

enthusiastic customers, there was talk that the boom was masking a serious underlying overcapacity issue. Today, that issue has swollen to the proportions of an existential crisis for several car groups.

Polarised market Last summer industry analysts LMC Automotive put excess capacity across Europe at some 10 million units. Yet this alarming headline figure conceals something even more shocking – a market that is deeply polarised. LMC’s estimate of an average European capacity utilisation of 66 per cent is spread across two contrasting trends: on the one hand the heavily impacted volume producers, struggling to sell their products in a collapsing market and, on the other hand, the thriving, principally German, premium brands with strong exports, an expanding market share,

Opel-Vauxhall Adam - targeting fashion-conscious youth

healthy margins and factories running full tilt. In short, it is the mass-market producers that are stuck with the bulk of the surplus overheads, so the situation for them is even more serious than the continent-wide capacity utilisation average of 66 per cent would suggest. Eighty per cent utilisation is normally considered the threshold for profitability, so the scale of the disparity is clear to see. It could indeed be argued that the Ford, PSA and Opel closures show that the longpromised shakeout of Europe’s auto business has begun to happen, even if the dire warnings of Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne of massive consolidations have yet to become reality. The worst-case scenario acknowledged by all is the financial collapse of a whole carmaking group: without exception, all those in the danger zone are working frantically to ensure they are not the one pushed over the edge, so further capacity adjustments and life-saving cooperative deals are a near certainty as the months and years unroll.

China: key to premium carmakers’ prosperity At the opposite end of the scale the premium producers, almost all of which have proclaimed best-ever results for 2012, may not be as super-secure as the numbers would suggest. Audi, Porsche, BMW and

Mercedes-Benz are all riding high on the boom in sales in China, now the world’s largest market for premium as well as everyday cars, and even Jaguar Land Rover is boasting the highest sales in its corporate history thanks to the China effect. More than ever, China is the get-out-of-jail-free card that is allowing the elite carmakers to cash in on boom conditions where consumers are prepared to pay high prices for a blue-chip brand name. But, as those with longer memories will testify, too much reliance on a single market is a risky mediumterm position: Porsche, in particular, was nearly wiped out when the US luxury car market took a temporary dive in the 1980s. No such doubts have yet been formally expressed about China: the only serious anxieties seem to revolve round a slowdown (rather than a reversal) in the dizzy rates of expansion. Where the triumphalist rhetoric does however become tempered with a more cautious note, even among what Germans call the noble marques, is in predictions for Europe. Here, the tone is one of some considerable wariness, laced with warnings of continued difficult business conditions in the months and years ahead. Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Smart, as well as Volkswagen, controller of Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini in the premium segment, are

among the companies that have seen their share prices affected by such warnings. Indeed, in what may later come to be seen as a tipping point, super-successful Audi witnessed an actual year-on-year fall of 3 per cent in its European sales in March this year, the first such reversal for many years. Some commentators were prompted to speculate that the premium bubble may at last have burst: certainly, analysts will be watching the figures for subsequent months with special interest.

Premium-level profits from brand-hungry consumers Audi’s misfire may be momentary, but it does come despite the introduction of several new models designed to take the brand into new corners of the market. In this, Audi has led what is beginning to resemble a mania in the German premium establishment to fill every conceivable niche in the market, and even to invent some new segments, too, in order to extract premium-level profits from brandhungry consumers. Two recent phenomena have been coupé-like sports off-road models, an apparent logical contradiction which has proved a hit with image-conscious consumers, and low-slung four-door ‘coupés’ derived from their only marginally less sleek four-door counterparts, with all the attendant comproIndustry Europe 9

Audi A7 Sportback- trend-following four-door coupé

mises on rear-seat comfort and boot space. Some designers are now beginning to suggest open-topped off-road models – and it might be unwise to bet against still more mutations such as convertible estate cars or even sports cars able to traverse ploughed fields. This frantic proliferation of model types – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz each now have over 20 distinct ranges, compared with half that number a decade ago – is evidence of a desire to flood the market with every possible permutation and thus to reduce unit costs by maximising the volume of a core model and its four or five differently-shaped derivatives. Audi in particular has chosen to cash in heavily on its demonstrably smooth and clean brand identity, replicating its in-house design cues faithfully across its entire line-up and achieving instant recognition for any of its broad spectrum of products, be they city-dwelling third-car hatchbacks or red-hot supercars for rich men’s track-day indulgence. BMW and, especially, Mercedes-Benz display only fractionally more visual variety across their equally broad ranges. Such uniformity may be useful in the short run when upwardly aspirational buyers want to identify with a desirable premium brand, Peugeot 208 - cashing in on predecessor’s kudos

10 Industry Europe

but may begin to backfire when the elite owner of a €200,000 flagship model begins resenting the hoards of upstarts buzzing around in compact hatchbacks bearing the same unmistakeable family likeness but costing just one tenth of the amount. Yet there is no doubting the astonishing success of the formula, as practised by the three German blue-chip manufacturers; Range Rover and Jaguar are becoming adept, too, but Toyota’s premium division, Lexus, is still to establish a truly clear brand identity to carry over seamlessly from one model generation to the next.

Models that transcend their brand However tempting the premium example might seem, it does not offer a cure for the ills of the volume car makers: after all, it makes little sense to build up a monolithic brand identity for a brand that few people want to buy. Yet in the short and medium term, at least, useful lessons could be learned from two unlikely (and humble) mentors – Nissan and Fiat. In the premium sphere brand tends to prevail over model – buyers first decide on, say, a BMW, and only then do they decide what size they want. With volume producers, the brand is often less important than the model, even though reasonable models can themselves be held back by a mediocre reputation for the whole brand. It is only on rare occasions that an exceptionally good model is able to break away in image terms from a mundane brand. Recent examples that spring to mind are the Nissan Qashqai – a remarkable and enduring global hit from a brand seen as perennially dull – and the Fiat 500, the high-fashion must-have city car from a manufacturer universally regarded as cheap and not particularly cheerful. By developing desirable individual models that transcend the indifferent reputations of

their brands, these manufacturers have given themselves a chance to escape the stigma of failure, the vicious circle of price cuts, discounting and poor resale values afflicting the commodity products that form the bulk of their business. Nissan has repeated the trick with the Juke, a funky urban compact that has kicked off a fashion for small SUVs with a tough allure, and Fiat plans to broaden the use of the trendy 500 label until it has taken in almost its entire range of vehicles, much as Mini in the premium segment has grown to become a whole family of cars, some of them not so small at all. Other models that have transcended their brands are the Clio, from Renault, and, in an earlier era, the 205 from Peugeot. In its struggle to power through the current crisis, Peugeot is hoping its new 208 hatchback can capitalise on the remembered glory of its 1980s antecedent, even if the stakes are even higher and the competition still tougher. Opel, a brand whose reputation remains at stubbornly low levels, is betting heavily on a new small model – the Adam – to deliver it fashion appeal and thus credibility among younger buyers, leading in turn to a transfusion of much-needed excitement into the broader Opel line-up. As with the Peugeot 208, the jury is still out on whether the Adam strategy will supply the necessary psychological and commercial boost to company fortunes. But at least one thing is certain: big-volume carmakers must at all costs sustain the momentum of new model launches and keep the fashionable follow-ups coming, just as Renault has done with its Captur urban SUV derivative of the Clio hatchback. For in the real world outside of the premium segment, a fashionable model is the only route that can give a volume producer a chance of n bringing in a positive profit margin.



New developments in the Automotive industry

Bentley wins award for the Continental GT R

eaders of Europe’s most popular 4x4 magazine, Auto Bild Allrad, have named the Bentley Continental GT ‘All-wheel Sports Car of the Year’ in the import category. Over 105,000 readers cast their votes in Auto Bild Allrad’s annual online poll, choosing from 151 cars in 10 categories. Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, CEO of Bentley Motors, said: “For over a decade, the Bentley Continental GT has defined ultimate luxury and high performance grand touring. The unique W12 engine of the first GT has been so successful that Bentley is now the world’s largest producer of 12-cylinder engines. We are honoured to receive this prestigious award and thank the readers of Auto Bild Allrad.” Visit:

New head of Honda’s Audi involved in standard for sustainable aluminium UDI AG is joining the Aluminium Stewardship “Active responsibility is firmly anchored A Initiative to help develop a global standard throughout our company. Also in our supply Dealer Development for sustainable aluminum. As a pioneer of unitary chains, we place priority on the integration of


onda (UK) has appointed Phil Webb as its new head of Dealer Development, effective from 1 April. Phil fills the seat recently vacated by Nick Campolucci who has moved to head up Honda’s Motorcycle Division. In his new role Phil Webb will be responsible for the development of Hondaís dealer network, franchising, standards, profitability and retail experience of the company’s three product ranges – Cars, Motorcycles and Power Equipment. Phil moves into his new role from the position of head of Power Equipment where he has been in charge of the sales operation for four areas: Lawn & Garden, Energy, Marine and All Terrain Vehicles, for the past 3 years. Visit:

aluminum car bodies, the company is taking the opportunity to influence the entire value chain of one of its most important materials – one of the objectives of Audi’s corporate responsibility strategy. The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative was founded in the autumn of 2012 and aims to develop a sustainability standard for aluminum by the end of 2014, with the support of the environmental organisation IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). It sets environmental and social criteria that apply to all stages of extracting the raw material as well as producing and processing aluminum.

Management changes at Daimler AG


aimler AG is making several changes to its management. On 1 June 2013, Philipp Schiemer, currently head of Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars, will take over the management of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil (MB Bras). MB Bras is a group company with headquarters in São Paulo.

Fifth Aston Martin confirmed for 24 Hours of Le Mans


ston Martin will run a fifth Vantage GTE at the 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as the first reserve #98 car is granted an entry. The car will now run in the GTE Pro class instead of the GTE Am class (as previously listed) thanks to reclassification from the ACO.

environmental protection and social responsibility,” explained Dr Bernd Martens, Audi’s board of management member for Procurement. Visit:

At the same time, Wolfgang Hänle, who has been head of Production at Daimler Buses for more than ten years, will take over a newly created position, in which he will serve as head of Production for the two Brazilian facilities in São Bernardo do Campo and Juiz de Fora. Visit:

John Gaw, team principal, Aston Martin Racing, said, “In this significant year for both Le Mans and Aston Martin, we would particularly like to thank the ACO for reclassifying the car from the Am to the Pro class. The 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE line-up is extremely competitive and the extra Pro class entry has further supported our ambitions in the category.” Visit: Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Automotive industry

RR Wraith makes debut A

t the Geneva Motor Show Rolls-Royce Motor Cars presented the world debut of Wraith, the most powerful and dynamic Rolls-Royce in history. “Today we launch the ultimate gentlemen’s gran turismo, a car that embodies the spirit of Charles Stewart Rolls,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, Wraith promises the sense of adventure and speed that drove our founding forefather. But of course, Wraith’s starting point is luxury, refinement and

quality, traits that remain as important to RollsRoyce customers today as they were more than a century ago.” Visit:

New commercial director at Lamborghini


homas Felbermair will join Automobili Lamborghini as commercial director, effective 1st May 2013. Thomas Felbermair holds a degree in engineering and has a broad experience in the automotive sector. He has held various positions in sales organisations with a focus on motorsport activities, and until now has been in charge as head of Sales at Audi AG for the German market. Visit:

Volvo launches car-enveloping airbag


olvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) has unveiled another world safety premiere with the External Vehicle Protection (EnVeloP) system. The announcement comes one year after Volvo Cars launched a world first with the Pedestrian Airbag Technology on the all-new Volvo V40. The External Vehicle Protection system consists of a small container built in the roof of the car, which contains a folded-in, vacuum pulled balloon

of similar material to existing airbags. In case of an unavoidable collision, whether it is with another car, a roadside object or even when coming into contact with surface water, the balloon unfolds within the blink of an eye around the car. By completely enveloping the car, the External Vehicle Protection system ensures that damage and personal injury as a result of the collision is minimised. Visit:

Toyota joins London Hydrogen Partnership T

oyota has joined the London Hydrogen Partnership (LHP), bringing hydrogen and fuel cell-powered vehicles a step closer to reality in the capital. Over the last few years the LHP has initiated over £50 million worth of hydrogen projects; including bringing new hydrogen buses, taxis, scooters, refuelling stations, commercial vehicles and fuel cell Combined Heat and Power units to London. Graham Smith, managing director, Toyota Motor Europe, London Office, added: “We are pleased to participate within the London Hydrogen Partnership and add our support to its ambitions to develop and enable clean, sustainable hydrogen fuel cell transport for the capital. Toyota believes this technology offers great potential for sustainable transport and will be among the first manufacturers to bring hydrogen-powered vehicles to the European market in 2015 where hydrogen supply infrastructure is in place.” Visit:

PSA Peugeot-Citroën sets up a leaner management team


2012, PSA Peugeot Citroën laid the foundations for the rebound in its manufacturing and retail operations. The recovery will be driven by the expression of two strong, clearly differentiated brands, the return to profit and the success of the alliance with General Motors. To ensure the efficient

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implementation of the group’s strategy, a leaner management team has been set up around Philippe Varin, chairman of the managing board. The executive vice-president, Finance will ensure that consolidated earnings are optimised by making final decisions on the necessary trade-offs between the Peugeot and Citroën brands and the Industrial

Operations and Supply Chain Department. He will also ensure the return to profit in the Latin America region. The executive vice-president, Asia will ensure profitable growth in Russia and oversee the development of manufacturing operations outside the European and Latin American markets. Visit:

INDUSTRYNEWS Porsche expands workforce in Leipzig


orsche is recruiting more than 1000 workers for the production of its new Macan model range at its Leipzig plant. Alongside the 1000 production workers, the location in Saxony is hiring a total of 400 engineers for the planning of the new sections, of which 220 are already on board. Porsche AG is investing around €500 million in the conversion of the location into a fully-fledged plant with its own paint shop and

body assembly hall. It’s the biggest construction project in the history of the sports car maker. “The buildings are ready and are water-proof, and the machines are being installed. In the summer, we will commission the new paint shop, so the first customer vehicle will roll off the assembly line at the end of the year,” said Siegfried Bülow, chairman of the executive board of Porsche Leipzig GmbH. Visit:

Jaguar Land Rover plans for investment in manufacturing & product development


aguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest premium automotive manufacturer, showcased its latest plans for further investment in technology and innovation at the Geneva International Motor Show. Jaguar Land Rover will reinforce its commitment to manufacturing in the UK by increasing the investment in its new Engine Manufacturing Centre to more than £500 million. The Engine Manufacturing Centre is essential to support the company’s long-term strategic growth plans and will be the home for a new generation of tech-

nologically advanced, lightweight 4-cylinder low emission diesel and petrol engines. The state-ofthe-art facility is the first in the company’s history to be entirely designed and specified by Jaguar Land Rover. At almost 100,000m2, the plant will include an engine testing centre alongside the manufacturing and assembly halls. Jaguar Land Rover will also invest £2.75 billion in product development which will support the launch of eight new innovative products to help achieve its business growth strategy. These

include the Jaguar F-TYPE and the introduction of the world’s first nine-speed gearbox in its Land Rover product line-up. Visit:

Renault-Nissan establishes common entry point for imports into northern England


he Renault-Nissan Alliance has established the Port of Tyne in north-east England as its common regional entry point for vehicles imported from Renault and Nissan plants overseas. Since 1995, Nissan has used the Port of Tyne as its main entry port into the UK for vehicles manufactured overseas. Nissan employs more than 6000 workers and last year produced 510,000 vehicles at its plant in Sunderland, home of the Nissan Qashqai, Juke and Note vehicles. Nissan’s partner Renault formerly relied on the Port of Teesport as its regional entry point for Renault vehicles and had also planned to receive Dacia vehicles there. As part of an Alliance tender activity in 2012 the benefits of consolidating the ports were confirmed and the recommendation to make Port of Tyne sole port in the region for the import of Alliance vehicles was ratified. Visit:

Opel’s Cascada starts production at Gliwice


the end of February the very first Cascada, Opel’s elegant mid-size class convertible, left the assembly line at the Opel plant in Gliwice, Poland. Since its groundbreaking in 1996, the Gliwice plant has been a pillar of GM manufacturing. The Cascada is already the sixth

Opel model the team in Poland is building – at highest quality and in state-of-the-art production facilities. “We are especially proud that we were chosen to build the first convertible developed by Opel. It is a complex undertaking that our highly motivated team mastered with brilliance. So today is a very special day for us,” said plant manager Andrzej Korpak. Visit: Industry Europe 13

ANCIENT CITY BUILDS FUTURE-PROOF NEW WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM A new and truly unique water supply system has been developed for the beautiful, historic Italian city of Como. Built in an artificial cavern blasted into the surrounding mountains, it supplies twice as much water as the old system it replaces and will help the city evolve and develop for decades to come.


ike many established cities, Como is adapting as the local and world economies change. Once small and selfcontained, it was a centre for manufacturing and textile industries. Now the manufacturing tends to be small scale and high value, service industries are taking root and more and more people are choosing to live there and commute to work in larger metropolitan areas. It has always attracted visitors, and today its tourist industry is booming. Lake Como is the natural water source for the city and now local engineers from ACSM SpA have excelled in building a new purification and supply system that is both futuristic 14 Industry Europe

and future-proof. Serving a population of 85,000, water supply is a complex task, hence the sophisticated Movicon Scada Platform control system that is used. Located in the foothills of the Alps, there were no places suitable and large enough in Como to build the new plant, but this was turned into a positive. One of the fundamental design criteria was to develop a highly secure facility that would not be susceptible to terrorist attack, vandalism or the ravages of the sometimes extreme winter weather. The answer was to build underground, so the first part of the project was excavating 35,000 cubic metres of rock to form the tunnels and caverns for the

treatment plant and supply pipelines. A new reservoir was also constructed, based on a disused air raid shelter. The purifying plant produces clean drinking water, 24 hours a day seven days a week, and pumps it into the main network in the Como Aqueduct. This feeds three giant storage tanks supplying the east, central and west districts of the city. The enormous amount of water is lifted by a bank of 1000kW pumps. Normally these are powered from the local mains grid, but a group of emergency 1200kW electric generators have also been installed in the plant. This entire system is run completely automatically

using the Movicon system by remote control from the ACSM offices in the city centre. Water is extracted from the lake at a depth of 45m, which means it is at a virtually constant temperature and never freezes. (The great depth is unsurprising because Como is an alpine lake formed millions of years ago when tectonic plates collided and one rode up over the other to create the mountain range.) Currently the city requires 400–500 litres of water per second during the day (less at night), or 12,000,000 cubic metres a year. The new plant produces 600 litres of clean drinking water a second around the clock, so has capacity to cope with increasing demand. The purification process starts with two 10,000m3 storage tanks holding lake water and alternately feeding it to a pre-ozonisation basin, where it is held for three minutes to reduce bacterial activity. The water then passed through six layers of sand filter and into the ozonisation basin for a 10 minute treatment. Six more filters follow, this time comprised of active granular charcoal, the water taking 15 minutes to pass through them into a final disinfection tank and then on to the district accumulation tanks. The plant has been designed with high levels of redundancy and multiple failsafes so that it will continue to work in almost all possible circumstances. Each stage of the process is duplicated and includes appropriate water pumps, valves, sensors, alarms, air injectors, backwash systems, chemical dosing pumps, ozoning bubblisers, temperature gauges, etc.

On top of this are support and secondary systems, such as lighting, ventilation fans, telephones, the power supply and its backup generators, etc.

Control system This complex mass of highly technical and critical equipment is all controlled by the Movicon Scada Platform, an Italian made control system which is available in the UK through Products for Automation. The plant in the cavern is managed by two redundant PLCs and monitored with four supervision stations based on the Movicon Platform; two inside the cavern and two in the ACSM remote control room in town. The stations inside the plant are connected directly to the redundant controllers, which supervise the plant’s automation in general. Each station is also connected to one of the stations in the control room by dual telephone lines. Thus all four stations can be used to monitor and control the plant. In order to avoid any problems the architecture is such that commands to the plant cannot be carried out from more than one workstation at a time. Furthermore, one station is always designated the Master, from which all the other take their lead. Each workstation can become the Master by pressing the appropriate button on the system control video screen page. The cavern plant’s supervisory PCs, situated in the remote control room, contain different screen pages, each dedicated to a different task. These PCs communicate

directly with the plant’s control system and transmit the communication signals to the two supervisor stations in the control room. Besides displaying information about the water purifying process, the two supervisors in the control room also record these signals on files in open format based on a relational database. The operators can thus safely manage the plant locally or remotely in guided step-by-step procedures. The supervisor stations display the plant’s data in clear, real time graphical screens. They also record and back up all commands and parameter readings for both real time and historic log analysis. One of the main tasks of the control system is management of the many alarms. It grades the alarms by importance, to speed up appropriate interventions in the event of breakdowns. The alarms in the water purifier system are displayed in the Movicon system video screen pages of each workstation. When an alarm occurs, its description and status are instantly shown on this page. All alarms and events are recorded and the operator can use drop down menus to quickly analyse them for developing trends. Como’s new water supply system is groundbreaking on many levels, and at its heart the Movicon Scada system ensures every detail of its complex working is monitored and if necessary adjusted. The city’s residents probably take it for granted, but secretly are very proud of the way they have pushed n water engineering to new heights. or Industry Europe 15


New contracts and orders in industry

Alstom enters Canadian wind market Balfour Beatty lstom and NaturEner Energy Canada Inc. averaging 8.5 m/s. Alstom will assemble the awarded £130 A (‘NaturEner’) have entered into an agreeturbine nacelles in its factories located in Amament for the supply of up to 414 MW of wind rillo, Texas, and in Buñuel, Spain, and will source turbines to be installed at NaturEner’s Wild Rose other components globally. million rail contract Projects in Alberta. The agreement includes 138 ECO 110 3.0 MW wind turbines, and 10 years of maintenance services. This landmark agreement marks Alstom’s successful entry into the Canadian wind market. Each high-yield Alstom ECO 110 wind turbine is classified II-A and IS Class with a rotor diameter of 110 metres, ideally suited to maximising power output from intermediate wind speeds

The Wild Rose 1 and Wild Rose 2 wind farms will be located on private agricultural land in Cypress County, south-east of the city of Medicine Hat in the province of Alberta. Scheduled to enter commercial operations at the end of 2014 and end of 2015, Wild Rose 1 and 2 will be the largest wind farm in Canada on a combined basis, with a total installed generation capacity of approximately 414 MW. Visit:

Malaysia Airlines orders up to 36 ATR 72-600s


TR and the flag carrier Malaysia Airlines have signed a purchase agreement for 20 firm ATR 72-600s, plus options for 16 additional aircraft. The deal is valued at over US$ 840 million, including options. The signature of this new contract follows a Memorandum of Understanding announced by the airline in December 2012. With the signature, Malaysia Airlines brings to 42 the total of firm ATR 72s purchased since the initial purchase agreement in 2007. The introduction of these aircraft, which are the first ATR -600s to be selected for the growing Malaysian and regional market, will reinforce

Tebodin awarded three contracts from DUGAS


he Dubai Natural Gas Company Limited (DUGAS) has contracted Tebodin for the detailed design of the expansion of a Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) plant. The consulting and engineering firm also received a contract for the preparation of the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and Engineering

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Firefly’s and MASwings position on community markets and business routes and confirms Malaysia Airlines as a major operator of ATRs in Asia. Deliveries will start by mid 2013. The arrival of these new ATR72-600s will enable Malaysia Airlines to further expand its regional offer, adding new routes and frequencies to its global network. The new ATR 72-600 delivers the latest innovations in terms of passenger comfort, with the award-winning Armonia cabin designed by Giugiaro and equipped with new slim line seats, larger overhead bins and appealing LED lighting. Visit:

Procurement Construction (EPC) tender package for the additional butane storage facility. In line with its growth program, DUGAS will undertake the expansion of its MTBE plant to increase its production capacity from 500,000 to 675,000 million tonnes per year. The construction of additional butane/propane storage tanks and associated dedicated refrigeration system using vapour recovery compression


contract in excess of £130 million to build two miles of the Crossrail route and an iconic new rail station in South East London that will deal with thousands of commuters every day has been awarded to leading international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty. The group confirmed that following their involvement in the successful completion of the design phase of the Crossrail South East Section Project, Network Rail has now awarded them the contract for the final phase which will see them build the new station in Abbey Wood, including the replacement of its two existing platforms. It will also involve installing two new dedicated Crossrail lines from the station to the Plumstead portal, providing access to the new Crossrail tunnels into Canary Wharf and central London, and modifications to several bridges along the route. The new Crossrail route will connect Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Visit: for re-liquefaction has also been scheduled. DUGAS owns and operates a gas processing facility and MTBE at its plant in Jebel Ali, Dubai. MTBE is an additive for unleaded gasoline that helps raise the octane level of gasoline by supplying additional oxygen during combustion, allowing cleaner and more complete burning and thereby reducing emissions. Visit:

WINNINGBUSINESS Stadler wins order for the delivery of 48 FLIRTs in Hungary


tadler Rail has won a tender for the delivery of 48 electric multiple units to Hungary. The public procurement was issued jointly by the Hungarian State Railways MÁV and Austrian-Hungarian regional operator GYSEV in November 2012. The result of the tender was announced on 26 February 2013. Within the frames of the contract Stadler will deliver 42 FLIRT units for MÁV and 6 units for GYSEV. The new four-part trains will be single voltage low floor vehicles with a seating capacity of 200 and a maximum speed of 160 km/h. The last train will be delivered by Stadler by Autumn 2015. The current EMU tender is now the 3rd in a row that Stadler has won in Hungary. After the delivery of the current batch, 112 FLIRT units in total will be operating in Hungary. The FLIRT has a very good reputation in the country, as the 60 existing vehicles have been operating highly efficiently for the past 6 years. Visit:

Thales awarded Cargotec’s Kalmar wins another sonar contracts large port equipment order


hales UK has been awarded contracts to supply the Sonar 2076 fully-integrated search and attack submarine sonar system for the UK Royal Navy’s sixth and seventh Astute Class submarines. Thales will supply the sonar system to BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, the prime contractor for the Astute Class build, to be fitted to the submarines at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness. The complete sonar system supplied by Thales will comprise both inboard and outboard of the bow, fin, intercept and flank arrays, and the associated inboard processing. Thales has now been contracted to supply Sonar 2076 for all seven Astute Class boats. The Astute Class platform is also fitted with a significant number of other Thales sensors and systems, including two non-hull penetrating CM010 optronic masts that, together with Sonar 2076, effectively provide the submarine with its ‘eyes and ears’. Thales also supplies the electronic support measures (ESM) system, which has two multifunction antenna arrays mounted on the masts. Visit:

CybAero receives UAV order from AeroVironment


ybAero’s US partner AeroVironment continues to invest in helicopter UAVs. Now, add to it a bigger blanket of helicopters to meet an expected rapid demand. The order from AeroVironment is a blanket of €2.5 million for the supply of helicopters during 2013.


argotec’s Kalmar has secured a large order for 15 Kalmar E-One rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes from Bolivariana de Puertos (Bolipuertos) SA through construction contractor Teixeira Duarte, part of the consortium Consorcio TD-Mota-Proyecto Puerto de la Guaira, in Venezuela. The deal follows an order for Kalmar port equipment received earlier in March from Bolipuertos. The equipment of this latest order is destined to be delivered to Bolipuerto’s La Guaira location during the first half of 2014. The value of the order is approximately €20 million. Purchased along with an extensive stock of spare parts, the 41-tonne capacity RTG cranes have a lift height of 1 over 5 and a span of 6 + 1 for excellent productivity. The order also includes the Kalmar SmartPort process automation solution SmartRail, providing automated gantry steering for rubber tyred gantry cranes, and SmartFleet, which helps maintenance operations to more effectively support terminal equipment. Visit:

“We are working with CybAero to address an important growing market opportunity for tier 2 helicopter unmanned aircraft systems,” says Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice-president and general manager of its unmanned aircraft systems business segment. “The US market alone represents roughly half of the global market for UAVs,” says CybAero CEO Leif Erlandsson. “It is a market

that we hardly could have entered without the cooperation with world leader AeroVironment. They are the ideal partner for us on these markets,” says Erlandsson. In November 2012, CybAero and AeroVironment signed a cooperation agreement covering the US, NATO and a number of other markets. Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

BASF and Markor to establish joint ventures


ASF and Xinjiang Markor Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. (Markor) plan to establish two joint ventures for the production of butanediol (BDO) and polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF®) in Korla, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, north-west China. The joint venture companies intend to build a plant for the production of BDO and one for PolyTHF which are planned to go on stream

in 2015. The annual capacities of the plants located in Korla will be 100,000 tonnes of BDO and 50,000 tonnes of PolyTHF. “Based on our globally leading PolyTHF technology and the strong local presence of Markor in China, we are aiming to expand our local production capacity in order to support our customers in the Chinese market with high quality products,” said Dr Guido Voit, senior vice-president, responsible for the region Asia Pacific within BASF’s Intermediates division. PolyTHF is primarily used to make elastic spandex fibres for a large variety of textiles, including underwear, outerwear, sportswear and swimsuits. It also serves as a chemical building block for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) used to make hoses, films and cable sheathing Visit:

Borealis acquires DEXPlastomers B

orealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilisers, has acquired DEXPlastomers VOF in Geleen, The Netherlands, from DSM Nederland BV and ExxonMobil Benelux Holdings BV. The site is located in the Chemelot industrial park, 50km away from the nearest Borealis site in Beringen, Belgium. Approximately 100 employees

BOLZONI AURAMO and MEYER join forces in Italy


OLZONI AURAMO and MEYER have joined forces in Italy. The product ranges of both brands will now be distributed in the Northern Italian regions through BOLZONI SpA, from the head office of the group located in Piacenza, and in regions of central and southern

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will be transferred to Borealis Plastomers 1 BV (formerly DSM Plastomers BV) and other Borealis group companies outside The Netherlands. The products manufactured in Geleen are speciality products, complementary to Borealis’ current innovative plastic solutions. The acquisition underpins Borealis’ commitment to its Value Creation through Innovation strategy as Borealis believes there is significant potential for the complementary technology. “We are happy to welcome our new colleagues in Geleen to the Borealis Group and look forward to a successful integration,” says Mark Garrett, Borealis chief executive. “Both companies develop innovative solutions with added value for our customers; our products are complementary and will broaden our current product portfolio.” Visit: Italy through BOLZONI ITALIA Srl located in Prato. BOLZONI SpA will cover the following regions: Piemonte, Valle d’Aosta, Lombardia, Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria and Marche. BOLZONI ITALIA Srl will cover Toscana, Abruzzo, Molise, Lazio, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicilia and Sardegna.

Atlas Copco to purchase Rapid-Torc A

tlas Copco has agreed to acquire the business of US-based Rapid-Torc, which develops and markets hydraulic torque wrenches. The acquisition broadens Atlas Copco’s product range and will extend its expertise to new customers. Rapid-Torc, with offices in Houston, Texas, and Brussels, Belgium, has about 30 employees and had revenues in 2012 of MUSD 11 (MSEK 75.) The company is specialised in hydraulic torque wrenches and also supplies bolt tensioners and related accessories for high-torque applications. “This acquisition broadens our offering for existing customers and provides us with the opportunity to serve new customers in the oil and gas, and power generation segments,” said Mats Rahmström, business area president for Atlas Copco Industrial Technique. Visit:

Matts Rahmström

The greater variety of products available will allow the companies to better respond to market demands and provide additional support to the forklift truck industry. The two companies will offer customers a wide range of Bolzoni Auramo and Meyer high quality attachments, providing the best product lines for today’s market requirements. Visit:


Sandvik to acquire Canadian drilling solutions provider


Gary Hughes

andvik has signed an agreement with Cubex Limited (CUBEX) to acquire its drilling solutions business and operations. CUBEX is an industry-leading drilling solutions provider focused on the design and manufacture of a wide range of underground in-the-hole (ITH), and geo-technical drilling equipment. CUBEX products are distributed globally, and the current main markets are the United States, Canada, Africa, South America, and Australia. In 2012, the acquired business of CUBEX had a turnover of about 270 MSEK and about 110 employees. The head office and manufacturing facility is based in Winnipeg, Canada. “We already have a strong cooperation with CUBEX and since 2009 Sandvik has served as global distributor responsible for the sales and service of CUBEX products worldwide. The acquisition is in line with Sandvik’s long-term strategy of continued profitable growth and to deliver increased customer value. CUBEX’s knowledge of the ITH drilling method complements Sandvik’s already extensive offering in underground drilling,” says Gary Hughes, president of the Sandvik Mining business area. Visit:

New owner for StrikoWestofen

SNCB Logistics sells barging companies



trikoWestofen, the globally active manufacturer of melting and dosing systems, has a new owner: it has been announced that the Munichbased ‘Auctus Capital Partners AG’ has acquired the majority share in the StrikoWestofen Group. Up to now, the majority share in the group belonged to ‘BPE Fund Investors GmbH’ (Hamburg). “With Auctus, a well-known partner has been won as an investor – a partner who knows the light metal casting industry and holds our role as a technological pioneer in high regard,” explains Rudolf Riedel, managing director of StrikoWestofen. “In particular our strong market position as well as our past and future innovations were the reasons for Auctus to become involved in a healthy company with strong brands – and for supporting the further expansion of its market presence in growth markets.” The aim is to further expand the technological advances the company has made in global markets and to achieve healthy growth. The company also benefits from having its own production facilities in Europe, China and North America. Visit:

Linde takes over joint venture OCAP in Netherlands


he Linde Group, a world-leading gases and engineering company, acquired the remaining shares of its partner Volker Wessels Stevin Deelnemingen in the OCAP joint venture (Organic CO2 for Assimilation by Plants). With immediate effect the supplier of industrial gases is thus the sole shareholder.

NCB Logistics Group and Felbermayr Group have announced that the inland shipping companies H&S Container Line GmbH, Haeger & Schmidt International GmbH and RKE NV, that were owned by SNCB Logistics Group, have been sold to Felbermayr Holding GmbH, Wels, Austria. SNCB Logistics Groups sold all of its shares in the three companies to Felbermayr: H&S Container Line GmbH was a 100% affiliate of Inter Ferry Boats (affiliate of SNCB Logistics), Haeger & Schmidt International GmbH was a 100% affiliate of Xpedys (affiliate of SNCB Logistics) and Xpedys also held a 61.46% stake in RKE NV. ThyssenKrupp continues to hold its 38.54% stake in RKE. The management and staff remain in place and the continuity of the activities of the three companies is assured. With this transaction, SNCB Logistics executes another key measure of its restructuring plan. SNCB Logistics wants to focus on its core rail freight business, and notably become a competitive private railway company. For Felbermayr, the acquisition of these three barging companies complements the already existing port facilities in Linz an der Donau and

Krefeld am Rhein. As such the companies are intended as a rounding off to the existing portfolio with future synergies. Visit:

The acquisition enables The Linde Group to reinforce its position in the global energy and environment growth market as one of the leading suppliers of clean technologies for its Clean Energy Programm. OCAP is a leading player in a very special market segment: as a supplier of gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Benelux region OCAP delivers CO2 to greenhouses between

Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The CO2-enriched atmosphere in the greenhouses promotes the growth of plants. The gas comes from the largest Shell refinery in Europe and an Abengoa bioethanol plant. If it was not used in greenhouses, the CO2 needed would have to be produced by conventional means by burning natural gas. Visit: Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

Caterpillar opens Middle East parts distribution centre


aterpillar Inc. has opened a new parts distribution center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The 500,000 square foot Middle East distribution centre (MEDC) employs 130 people and will further strengthen aftermarket parts support in the East-Africa and Middle East region. The facility will also serve as a regional office for employees from other Caterpillar service groups. The Middle East distribution centre joins new distribution centres in Waco, Texas (2009), Clayton, Ohio (2011), Spokane, Washington and Arvin, California (2012). In addition, construction is underway for new distribution centres in Queensland, Australia, and San Luis Potosi, Mexico. “We are very pleased to be adding the MiddleEast distribution centre to our industry leading global parts network,” said Steve Larson, Caterpillar vice-president with responsibility for parts distribu-

tion and logistics, and president of Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. “With the outstanding product support capability of Cat dealers in the region and the improved parts availability this operation will deliver, we will continue providing customers an unmatched level of after-sale support.” Visit:

Wacker opens a new technical centre for carpet applications in the USA W acker Chemie AG is strengthening its presence in the USA by bringing a new technical centre for carpet applications on stream in Dalton, Georgia. It offers lab facilities for developing and testing polymeric binders for the carpet industry. At the same time, the WACKER ACADEMY, the group’s international training centre, is opening a local branch at the Dalton site. WACKER is thus meeting the growing demand for high-quality VAE dispersions for carpet applications in the region, and improving its local expertise in research, development, applications support and customer service. WACKER’s new technical centre, based in Dalton, Georgia, is focused on developing new formulations with vinyl acetate-ethylene copoly-


fter a building phase of only eight months, MTU Maintenance Hannover’s new logistics centre is now open. The storage building for spare parts has a floor space of 7500 square metres and features the most advanced logistic processes. Before the opening of the new logistics centre, the parts were stored externally. With the new building, the transportation route could be reduced from 15km to only 75 metres. With this move, MTU Maintenance will significantly save costs, optimise its internal processes and is able to strengthen its position among the international competition. MTU Maintenance Hannover is the centerpiece of the MTU Maintenance group, the world’s largest independent maintenance provider for commercial aircraft engines, and specialist for medium-sized and large aircraft engines. Only recently, MTU Maintenance has successfully completed the test cell correlation for the world’s largest aircraft engine, the GE90. The company is now one of the few providers worldwide with the full repair capability for this engine type. Visit:

mer (VAE) dispersions, and meeting the local demands of customers in the carpet industry. VAE dispersions of the VINNAPAS® brand are increasingly being used in place of traditional latexes as binders for bonding carpet backing. Visit:

Wärtsilä to set up new manufacturing plant in Brazil


ärtsilä is to set up a new fully-owned manufacturing facility in Brazil to meet the increasing market demand, particularly in the offshore market. Wärtsilä’s investment in the new facilities is approximately €20 million. The manufacturing premises will be based on a multi-product factory concept for the

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MTU Maintenance Hannover opens new logistics centre

assembly and testing of Wärtsilä generating sets and propulsion products. “Our presence in Brazil is now further strengthened to respond to the ongoing demand for Wärtsilä power solutions, and to meet the set local content requirements,” says Björn Rosengren, president & CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation. Visit:



New commercial director for Hollanders Printing Systems

Sir Mike Rake appointed CBI president-designate



ollanders Printing Systems has appointed Kees van der Looij as commercial director of the company, responsible for developing sales throughout Europe and internationally. Previously with Zünd, and with an in-depth knowledge of the wideformat digital printing market, his expertise will drive increased presence of ColorBooster textile

solutions throughout the display, sign-making and décor sectors. Roland Biemans, sales and marketing manager at Hollanders Printing Systems, states: “Kees joins the company at an exciting time as we are now anticipating steady growth that will enable us to bring our ColorBooster solutions to a wider market area. The addition this year of new products to our portfolio will broaden

our customer base and give more businesses the opportunity to benefit from a truly productive turnkey textile production solution, so additional sales support is essential.”

New sales & commercial director for JAL Group UK & Ireland


imon Ash has been appointed sales and commercial director for UK & Ireland at Safety Shoe, JAL Group’s subsidiary based in UK. JAL Group is the industrial manufacturing group leader in Europe in the safety footwear sector with its premium brands Jallatte®, Aimont® and Lupos®. Simon Ash has 20 years of professional footwear experience in commercial, industrial and product

management roles, having developed his career with brands such as adidas UK, Mizuno Corporation UK and Airwair International (Dr Martens brand). “We are convinced Simon Ash is the right manager to implement in the UK market our plan of commercial re-organisation, improving our focus on this key market and increasing our brands’ penetration respecting their positioning and values,” the JAL Group’s CEO declared.

he UK’s CBI has announced that Sir Mike Rake is to succeed Sir Roger Carr as president at the end of his term of office in June 2013. Sir Roger Carr said: “Sir Mike will be a great addition to the CBI team. His extensive international business experience across a wide variety of sectors will be hugely valuable and make him an excellent choice for the role of president. I am confident that director-general, John Cridland, and Sir Mike will work well together and that the voice of business will continue to be both authoritative and clear.”

EADS Appoints New CEO of Eurocopter


he EADS Board of Directors has appointed Guillaume Faury, 45, to succeed Lutz Bertling. Faury joins Eurocopter from Peugeot SA, where he has served as Executive Vice President for Research & Development since 2010 and as Member of the Managing Board since 2009. Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer of EADS, said, “I am happy to welcome Guillaume Faury back at EADS.

Early in his career, he excelled at Eurocopter in various management positions before accepting a very senior role at Peugeot. With his profound knowledge of the Division, his leadership skills, and his broad industrial expertise, I am convinced Guillaume is the right person to drive Eurocopterís ambitious innovation roadmap and global positioning.”

New head of finance and controlling at Pöttinger


olfgang Moser has taken over as head of accounting, finance and controlling at Pöttinger, the machinery manufacturer in Grieskirchen, Austria. Wolfgang Moser comes to Pöttinger with sound qualifications and extensive experience in company controlling and in the

banking sector. One of his aims is to further develop the existing controlling systems at the Pöttinger Group. “We have placed enormous trust in this new member of management. Wolfgang Moser and his team will actively support Pöttinger on its smooth and steady course of ongoing growth,” says Heinz Pöttinger, the company’s commercial managing director. Industry Europe 21



Volvo’s Cyclist Protection System


the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Doug Speck, senior vice-president Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group, introduced a ground-breaking safety feature – a technology that detects and automatically brakes for cyclists swerving out in front of the car. The advanced sensor system scans the area ahead. If a cyclist heading in the same direction as the car suddenly swerves out in front of the car as it approaches from behind and a collision is imminent, there is an instant warning and full braking power is applied. The system consists of a radar unit integrated into the car’s grille, a camera fitted

in front of the interior rear-view mirror and a central control unit. The radar’s task is to detect objects in front of the car and to determine the distance to them. The high-resolution camera makes it possible to spot the moving pattern of pedestrians and cyclists. The central control unit continuously monitors and evaluates the traffic situation. The auto brake system requires both the radar and the camera to confirm the object. With the advanced sensor technology, it is then possible to apply full braking power immediately when necessary.

An animal to feed your eco-car T

he marine animal tunicate can be used both as biofuel and fish food, according to prizewinning research from Norway. On the ocean floor, under the pier, and on ship ropes – that’s where the tunicates live. Tunicates are marine filter feeders that serve as bacteria eaters and as a foodstuff in Korea and Japan. But in the future they may become more prevalent. Five researchers at the University of Bergen (UiB) and Uni Research have found that a certain type of tunicate – ascidiacea – can be used as a renewable source of biofuel and fish food. It is the cellulose, the protein, and the Omega-3 fatty acids in the ascidiacea that is the cause of its many uses. “Its mantle consists of cellulose, which is a collection of sugars. When cellulose is cleaved, one can obtain ethanol. And ethanol can be used for biofuel in cars. The animal’s body consists of large amounts of protein and Omega-3. This can be used for fish feed,” says Professor Eric Thompson at UiB’s Department of Biology. 22 Industry Europe

“The bioethanol used today is unsustainable as it comes from foods already used for human consumption. That is why there has been a move towards using cellulose from the timber industry to produce bioethanol,” says Dr Sc. Christofer Troedsson of Uni Research’s Molecular Ecology Group and head of the research at UiB’s Marine Development Biology and the tunicate research project. “However, it is quite complicated to break down the cellulose in trees and convert it into ethanol. This is because the wood contains a substance called lignin, which is hard to separate from the cellulose. Tunicates contain no lignin. Their cellulose is also low in crystals and is more efficiently converted into ethanol.” Troedsson also points out that using ascidiacea rather than trees is more environmentally friendly, because this does not occupy large tracts of land which could otherwise be used for other purposes, such as growing food. Visit:

Advances in technology across industry

Turning oil production gas into energy T

he Wärtsilä GasReformer is an innovative new product that enables gases produced during oil production, which by nature are rich in heavy hydrocarbons, to be converted into a methane rich product for utilisation in Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines operating at full performance levels. Traditionally such gases would be flared and wasted. While catalytic conversion of hydrocarbon feeds to hydrogen is a known process dating back to the early 20th century, the Wärtsilä GasReformer represents a totally new application under quite different conditions than that of the traditional process. “Wärtsilä has considerable experience in the treatment of gaseous fuels for fuel cells, and this patented product is a result of this development work. It is yet another example of the company’s ability to develop solutions that combine both economic and environmental benefits. The uniqueness of the GasReformer is in its ability to convert unwanted heavier fractions from the gas into methane. By turning otherwise waste gas into fuel, the system significantly lowers operating costs while notably enhancing environmental sustainability. In locations where flaring is prohibited, this is especially important,” says Tore Lunde, director Wärtsilä Oil & Gas Systems. Visit:



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on the government’s struggle to reduce its debt.


he bosses of France’s seven major defence companies have warned President Francois Hollande that the nation’s ‘leadership in Europe’ is threatened if the state cuts military spending. The top executives representing the country’s third biggest industrial sector reminded Mr Hollande that the defence industry employs 165,000 workers – including thousands in the small and medium-sized company sector – and thousands of those were at risk if the state slashed back its investment in research and development of defence. Any cutbacks could also threaten the €2.7 billion in foreign arms sales which the French defence industry generates for the French trade balance – which is currently in deficit to the tune of €70.1 billion. The plea to the president was made by the heads of Dassault, DCNS, EADS, MBDA, Nexter, Safran and Thales – and comes as President Hollande faces stinging attacks on all sides for his handling of the economy and his failure to lower either the expanding national debt or the record ten per cent unemployment. A joint letter to the president published in France said: “Our industry relies on government investment for the heavy spending needed for research and development. These investments must be maintained. The future of the sector depends on it. “Defence companies must offer technology transfer to win export contracts, which means that they must maintain a permanent technological lead if they are to stay ahead of emerging markets. “The R&D spending is also needed because of dual military and civil applications. The airline industry benefits from the money spent on defence, but which spills over into civilian use. “Strategic competences are at risk if spending is cut, with consequences for design, production, security of supply and crucially jobs.”

Cutting stakes President François Hollande has already admitted his socialist government can’t meet budget-deficit targets it promised to the European Union last year, and as well as planning cuts in defence spending, he is also exploring how the state could sell off slices of nationalised companies without sacrificing the control that government ownership helps it retain. France’s national debt grew to 6.8 per cent to €1.83 trillion in 2012, or more than 90 per cent of the country’s GDP. In the 2013 budget, the government forecasts that it will spend around €48.8 billion servicing its debt.

“Strategic competences are at risk if spending is cut, with consequences for design, production, security of supply and jobs.” France’s industry minister Arnaud Montebourg said in a recent TV interview: “As part of the budget restructuring, and the modernisation of our public policy, we are indeed thinking about changing our ownership stakes. We’re not ruling out that kind of move, but we do not want to lose our means of influence over companies.” Any stake sales would come as the government struggles to rein in the debt load with an economy that has been stagnating for over a year. Mr Hollande has raised taxes and pledged to cut spending, but still has little room for manoeuvre as he seeks to balance the country’s budget by 2017 – and he has come in for harsh criticism from the left-wing media for the ‘anti-socialist’ option of selling off the country’s family silver. Some of the government’s main state holdings include stakes in nuclear-engineering group Areva, France Telecom, Air France

and the car maker Renault. Mr Montebourg refused to reveal which companies might come up for sale, but one government official told the AFP news agency that selling some of the country’s 85 per cent stake in energy giant Electricité de France was ‘the obvious choice’. EDF’s shares have gained around 12 per cent since the start of the year, and France can lower its stake to 70 per cent under existing law. Reducing its stake down to 70 per cent would reap the state around €4.3 billion based on EDF’s current share price. Privatising off parts of state-run companies was already started by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who sold three per cent of EDF in late 2007 to help fund universities. Then in February, France raised about €448.5 million from the sale of 3.12 per cent of defence equipment maker Safran, bringing the French state’s stake down to 27 per cent. The government said it planned to invest the proceeds elsewhere in the economy, rather than directly plug holes in its finances. Mr Hollande may feel one glimmer of hope can be found in the latest figures for industrial output, which rose by 0.7 per cent in February – compared to a fall of 0.8 per cent in January – mainly thanks to increased production in car and aircraft factories and a refinery that re-opened. But Bruno Cavalier, chief economist at Oddo and Compagnie, told the Bloomberg financial TV channel: “This isn’t the beginning of the recovery. Confidence is dropping, even more so in services than industry. France is in recession and will stay there for at least several more months.” And Julien Manceaux, an economist at ING Bank NV in Brussels, added to Bloomberg: “Despite industrial output creeping up in February, there is little reason to cheer. It is clear that if confidence does not increase faster, even a zero percent growth rate will be a challenging target for the French n economy in 2013.” Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the crisis in the green energy sector.


here is an ill wind blowing through Germany, one rapidly running out of enough puff to keep a once-bullish energy sector in business. Wind power was hailed by environmentalists as the way of the future for a country without oil and gas deposits, and one which junked its nuclear industry overnight following the Fukushima disaster in Japan two years ago. Huge parks sprouted almost overnight across swathes of the countryside and at sea the windmills turned in strong winds that translated into cheap, renewable power. But something has gone terribly wrong with the German dream of a smokeless, pollutant-free future. After more than a decade of double-digit growth, austerity, rapidly changing energy policies and investors frightened of the uncertainties in a eurozone where the debt crisis is seemingly without end, the brakes have been slammed on the industry. Subsidies – rising globally for traditional power sources – have been slashed for the green sector at a time when both wind and solar industries need them to achieve parity with fossil fuel prices. Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said, “Renewable energies are suffering from a dual problem: governments around the world are slashing aid for clean energy while massive subsidies propping up the fossil fuel industry are making it impossible to compete. “If we had an ideal world – with no subsidies for nuclear, gas or coal – in that world, onshore wind would do extremely well,” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association. “But that’s a utopia.” There are 22 countries with at least a gigawatt of wind power installed – enough to provide electricity to 200,000 homes. In the European Union, countries installed 11.6 gigawatts of new energy capacity in 2012, up from 9.4 gigawatts put in place in 2011. “The problem is that the gains Europe made this year came mostly from orders 24 Industry Europe

placed before the debt crisis that has gripped Europe since 2010,” added Kjaer. Growth rates are predicted to decline rapidly if national policies on supporting wind energy are not changed soon. Already, energy customers in Germany are paying higher prices as a result of the decision to ditch nuclear power and undercut subsidies for renewables.

a negative knock-on effect. With increased investment risk, the uncertainty can make borrowing money for projects considerably more expensive. This double threat appears likely to push the wind power growth into the doldrums in 2013.”

Growth rates are predicted to decline rapidly if national policies on supporting wind energy are not changed soon.

But if times are getting tough for wind, they are virtually burning out for solar. In October last year German industrial giant Siemens announced that lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets meant the business sector was not meeting its expected goals; consequently it was pulling out of the sector and selling its Solel Solar Systems, which it acquired in 2009 for $418 million, and the photovoltaic business of its solar and hydro division. “The global market for solar thermal energy has fallen from four gigawatts to recently a little more than one gigawatt,” said Michael Suess, a member of Siemens’ board of directors and the CEO of its energy sector. “In the future, specialised providers will be able to play off their strengths here.” A month later German colossus Bosch announced that it was quitting a multi-billioneuro project to harness renewable energy in the Sahara Desert, known as Desertec. Desertec was looking to make use of solar energy from Northern Africa and the Middle East in the decades to come. “The aim was to supply around 15 per cent of Europe’s electricity by 2050,” said the company. Bosch said slow progress on the project caused it to think again, while in Germany the edge for making solar cells and other equipment had fallen to the Chinese who do it cheaper. “Neither solar and wind power are dead,” said Juergen Lenz, a Frankfurt analyst on renewables. “But there is a stocktaking and a repositioning going on in Germany that will have profound consequences in the n years to come.”

With a national election looming in the autumn, cuts, cuts and more cuts are the mantra of many politicians eager to save hard pressed taxpayers from more payouts. “Yet this is precisely the kind of thing that spooks investors,” said the influential news magazine Der Spiegel. “The times of huge, double-digit gains may be over for the industry. In Europe, the failure of the continent-wide carbon emissions trading system, which is intended to penalise CO2-heavy companies by requiring them to purchase certificates for their emissions and is thus intended to spur investment in green energies, is contributing to the growth problem. The floor has fallen out of the market for emissions certificates. Meanwhile, the US hasn’t even established its own carbon trading system yet.” Add to this the fact that fracking has given the country access to cheap and cleaner natural gas. Instead of burning coal, the US is now exporting it abroad and driving global market prices down. “At times of distress, every form of subsidy comes under pressure,” said David Jones, the head of renewable energy for Allianz Capital Partners. “The political uncertainty surrounding subsidies can have

Solar eclipse

Industry Europe 25

Eisele Pneumatics GmbH & C KG focuses on the development and manufacture of high-quality connection components and related products. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at some of its latest developments.


rom its site in Waiblingen, Germany, Eisele Pneumatics GmbH & C KG prides itself on its ability to respond quickly to its customers’ needs. The company focuses on the development and manufacture of high-quality connection components and related products, explains managing director Thomas Maier. With a wide range of more than 5000 catalogue items, and around 2000 customised solutions, its ability to find a solution is second to none, and its response times are rapid. New products and solutions are launched on a rolling basis and there is also an emphasis on high quality. 24 Industry Europe

Eisele’s BasicLine includes approximately 3500 standardised connection components made of high-quality materials. This is a complete product range of threaded connections, plug-and-socket connections, matching hoses, as well as an extensive range of accessories. The BasicLine offers metal connections made from anodised aluminium, brass, nickelplated brass, and stainless steel. “We are very reactive and responsive,” says Mr Maier. “We have large storage facilities and, because of our ability to make quick changes to our existing products, our response time from initial discussion of a change through to a delivery can be as short as six weeks.”

A wide range The company’s product spectrum ranges from catalogue programmes, such as pneumatic or cooling water in areas like paint processing or food production, through to an extensive programme for multiple couplings, which integrates various single connections in one interface. In addition to BasicLine, Eisele also offers its PipingLine, MultiLine and FreeLine. FreeLine is used for dead zone-free connections and is made of high-quality stainless steel; it is ideal for the safe transport of high-end products such as paints, foods or pharmaceuticals.

“We develop and manufacture products and solutions that fall into six different product lines,” Mr Maier explains. “Two of these, LiquidLine and InoxLine, hold particular potential for us in the future. At the moment, they represent just 15 per cent of our production but in the future we hope to increase that percentage quite significantly.”

Expanding LiquidLine Eisele has recently expanded its LiquidLine to include coolant connections for high flow rates. Coolant circuits place special requirements on the connections and lines used, and to meet these requirements the company offers its special LiquidLine range for coolants, with optimised connections in a full range of sizes and time-proven Eisele quality. Now this product line includes two new components for extra high flow capacities. The company has launched two energyoptimised coolant connections that exceed the outstanding flow rates of the previous LiquidLine connections by an additional 15 to 20 per-cent. In addition to the existing 45o and 90o angle connections, Eisele now offers a proven push- in connection combined with a 45o or a 90o angle piece made of copper pipe. “The two new coolant connections are ideal for high-performance applications in which it is necessary to achieve the maxi-

mum possible flow capacity. They are therefore the perfect addition and enhancement to the existing LiquidLine,” says Mr Maier.

Connecting with InoxLine With the increasing requirements of the process industry for quality, reliability and leak resistance, solutions for environments with high hygiene standards are becoming ever more important. Eisele has responded to this development with stainless steel connections from the InoxLine. “We have a very comprehensive range made out of stainless steel,” he adds. “This requires very sophisticated machining and the ability to be cleaned to an extremely high level.” Within this product range, connections 17 and 17A offer a large assortment of different connecting shapes, made from high-quality stainless steels for pneumatic applications, for example in the food or pharmaceutical industries. Series 17 includes connections with a release sleeve. Series 17A is similar – the connections are equipped with two seals, which make them ideal for applications with special sealing requirements and for applications with high pressures or for use with fluids.

Reliable cleaning Also under the InoxLine brand is the 3800 series. These products provide joint or gap-free connections in media circuits where no residue Industry Europe 25

can be tolerated in the hose system. Their design allows safe and reliable internal cleaning of the lines by flushing before changing media. “The 3800 series is also ideal for the food and pharmaceutical industries, since it is also suitable for internal sterilisation. Residue can accumulate in corners, edges and gaps of conventional hoses and pipes, where it is not easily removed during cleaning,” he says. “In the handling of foods and pharmaceuticals and in the chemical

26 Industry Europe

industry, however, maximum hygiene is necessary, since even minimal mixing can make entire production batches unusable. Thanks to the joint-free design of the InoxLine 3800 it is not necessary to disassemble systems for cleaning.”

Looking to the future The plan for the future, says Mr Maier, is to continue to develop pioneering products such as these. The company’s activi-

ties are largely based in Germany at the moment but some export to the USA takes place and there are plans to develop business in Asia. “I am looking to increase our export levels significantly over the coming years. I would like to see a rise in this area of about 10 per cent per year,” he says. “I do anticipate substantial growth from our new products, particularly InoxLine and LiquidLine. We see great potential in these areas.” n

PARTNERSHIPS IN SUPPLY Being able to combine its family dimension, experience, special location, skilled staff, added-value service and a comprehensive catalogue of quality products is what has allowed Stima to stand out from its competitors, as Barbara Rossi finds out from Federico Mazzanti, the commercial director of the company.


tima was established as a distributor of industrial automation products in the Bologna area, in 1965, by my grandparents, Elves Valbonesi and Aureliano Cariani. My grandmother Elves Valbonesi has just retired from the company at the age of 83. Today, we operate from a 4000m2 site located at the Bologna, Modena and Ferrara crossroads (in the north-eastern Italian EmiliaRomagna region). We are still a family company with pneumatic products as our core business.

The company philosophy is that of combining family values and a rate of growth keeping pace with an evolving market. Furthermore, we are based in a very special area, as we are in the middle of what is called the packaging valley. The Bologna area is the centre of pneumatic technology at European level, so we have reaped the advantages of this location, which has offered us the opportunity to grow in a significant way both in terms of product suppliers and clients,” Mr Mazzanti explains.

Stima distributes products of several manufacturers, so as to be able to offer a 100 per cent complete range in the pneumatic field, unmatched in the sector. 90 per cent of the products listed in the catalogue are available for prompt deliveries, thanks to the warehouse facilities of the company. One of Stima’s speciailties is having a large stock of compressed air tanks, allowing it to deliver these products, in just one day.

Industry Europe 27

Not suppliers or clients, but partners The company is not a simple distributor. On the contrary, it offers a real added value to its clients, in the form of services that often the actual manufacturer of the product is not able to give. As Mr Mazzanti says “This can also take place thanks to the fact that we have long-term, highly skilled staff able to offer these services, namely pre and post-sales support, technical support for designing and manu-

28 Industry Europe

facturing pneumatic and electro-pneumatic control panels and circuits on customers’ request, customised solutions and, thanks to our workshop, the production of non-standard-stroke cylinders and anti-rotation guides in a day’s time, thus offering sizes not covered by the products’ manufacturers. Moreover we offer training courses on pneumatics and vacuum technology developed by our technical department. A laboratory room has been

set up for this purpose to accommodate our partners who are interested in this and offer them practical ideas. We believe that promoting the circulation of knowledge is the best way to grow and develop together. For us our clients are not simply clients and the same applies to our suppliers. For almost 50 years they have been our partners.” Stima is very proud of its Seco System 2008, a compressed air dryer, driven by a roll-

ing module and featuring automatic extraction of moisture. The patent for this product was purchased a few years ago and Stima has been producing and distributing it since, with exclusive rights. Stima, with a €10m turnover and a staff of 36 people supplies clients in various sectors, in other words in any field where compressed air is employed. Its clients, many of which produce automatic machines for the packaging sector, include IMA SpA, GD

30 Industry Europe

SpA, the Marchesini Group, Cefla, Sacmi and BredaMenarini. In Mr Mazzanti’s words, “Our range and retention of prestigious clients proves that, despite the fact that we are a family company, we are at the cutting edge.” The customer base features manufacturers of industrial machines (accounting for approximately 50 per cent of turnover), resellers (30 per cent) and maintenance companies (20 per cent). Resellers are based both in Italy and abroad (mainly in

Eastern European countries) and export accounts for 15 per cent of turnover, while manufacturers and maintenance companies are mainly based in Italy. In terms of distribution of Camozzi products, Stima operates in the north central regions of Emilia-Romagna, Marche and Umbria and in the island region of Sardinia. “We have recently made significant investments in hardware and software for logistics management, maximising the digitalisation of

our warehouse procedures and, moreover, our warehouse already has the potential for accommodating larger volumes. Another step that we are taking, as part of our continuous improvement strategy, is that of carrying out internal restructuring so as to grow our commercial capacity. Our offer is strongly linked to service, as our distinguishing features are competence and flexibility, as well as competitiveness” Mr Mazzanti states, further adding “for instance our service now also includes support with regard

to bureaucratic procedures, such as management of customs’ certificates, making sure that we are always up to date with new legislation, in order to be able to best assist our clients. We are also investing a lot in our website, so as to be able to use it as a means of creating a direct contact with our customers, allowing them to check our stock levels and/or download products’ technical specifications. “We are happy with our supplier base, but we could further expand it, if this was needed

to respond to market demands. We strongly believe in distributing made-in-Italy products, and that is why we are trying to focus our distribution on them. We give companies operating on the national and international markets, which are currently purchasing components/ products of other European or non-European origin, the opportunity to use made-in-Italy products, as we really believe in their worthiness and the added value that we can give,” n Mr Mazzanti concludes.

since 1961

ZEC S.p.A. Via Lungolorno, 11 - 43052 Colorno (Pr) - Italy Tel: +39 0521 816631 - Fax: +39 0521 816772 - Email: -

Nel 1961 la ITW Vortec diventa la prima campagnia a sviluppare la tecnologia per convertire il fenomeno vortex tube in soluzioni effettive per il raffreddamento industriale. Da quel momento la ITW Vortec ha continuatio a perfezionare e a espandere le applicazioni del vortex tube, cosi come a sviluppare altri metodi per utilizzare l’aria compressa in modo efficiente.

Via Dante 83, 20811 Cesano Maderno (MB), Italy Tel.: +39 0362 545645 - Fax: +39 0362 609962 E-mail: -

Industry Europe 31



32 Industry Europe

Teknikum is a global player in the development and manufacture of polymer-based fluid handling systems and is a technology leader in corrosion protection. Philip Yorke spoke to Juha Martikainen, the company’s CEO, about its latest ceramic hose products and its move into new markets.


he roots of Teknikum reach back to 1898, although it has only been operating under its present name since 1989, having been a part of the Nokia Group up to that point. For over 20 years the Finlandbased company has been developing highquality polymer products for fluid handling and corrosion protection. The company’s commitment to developing innovative polymer products for use in handling various liquids has placed them at the forefront of the industry. Teknikum offers a wide range of products in three capability sectors: wear and corrosion protection, fluid handling, and contractor and OEM production. The company’s portfolio includes industrial hoses, moulded products, rubber linings & coverings, polyurethane and liquid silicone products, rubber compounds and rubber sheets and mats.

The company has its own mould design department and offers compound development and process planning at its headquarters in Finland. Today the Teknikum Group remains an independent, family-owned business that employs around 500 people worldwide and in 2012 recorded sales of more than €55 million. The Teknikum Group of Finland consists of Teknikum Oy’s factories in Vammala and Kiikka and Teknikum Sekoitukset Oy at Kerava in Finland. In addition, the company has factories in Russia and China, as well as a European sales office in Germany.

Tailor-made innovation Teknikum’s technological expertise has enabled it to develop ground-breaking technology to meet specific market needs. This is particularly true of the corrosion protection

sector where it has created new products and solutions for protection against wear and corrosion. The company develops, manufactures and markets high-tech rubber products, polyurethane products and lining solutions to meet tomorrow’s challenging needs of diverse industrial groups. Teknikum serves a broad range of companies that include industries such as mining, energy, chemicals, forestry and marine as well as a large number of process industries. All these industries handle substances that can be hazardous, as well as solid materials or sludge, or fluids that cause wear and corrosion. The line of products in this sector is comprised mainly of mill linings, screen panels, material handling hoses and couplings, as well as special connection hoses and compensators. In addition,

Industry Europe 33

the company produces rubber linings and polymer coatings, roll coverings and various polyurethane products for wear protection such as valve linings and bolter elements. Working in close partnership with its clients, Teknikum develops optimised tailor-made solutions to meet each individual challenge. Mr Martikainen said, “We have recently launched a number of new products including a very special rubber hose with an inner ceramic composition that enables it to be flexible and yet withstand high temperatures at the same time. Working in partnership with our customers we have developed many new innovative products over the years. We have also recently invested in a new hose production facility in Finland for manufacturing a new range of products for the mining sector, as well as in a major new factory in Russia for our polyurethane hoses. 34 Industry Europe

In addition, we have developed a range of flexible fuel hoses for use in very low temperatures where flexibility becomes a major problem at -10C or more. “However, the most important aspect of our company’s culture remains our close customer focus where service and technical support is paramount and drives everything that we do. Delivering products on time is also essential for our customers – when they need a product we need to be there. Another important service trend is the need for value-added facilities such as product assembly, which is becoming an increasingly important service for our customers.”

Customer-orientated solutions Placing such focus upon the needs of its clients is a vital part of the company’s philosophy and is most evident in the poly-

mer solutions area of its business. This is focused on the task of developing products that are highly tailored to clients’ needs and uses advanced materials development and specialised product design and manufacture, based upon close cooperation with the customer. Another key area of operations is the manufacture of products and solutions for vibration and noise damping, which are applicable to a wide range of industries from shipbuilding and construction to mechanical engineering and infrastructure. In the contractor and OEM manufacturing services division Teknikum has a broad range of clients and each has a specific need for a materials-based solution. The

36 Industry Europe

company can provide these solutions following a series of proven processes and is involved at an early stage in order to achieve the most successful outcomes.

Innovation and quality driving growth Teknikum is also involved in the fluid handling sector through technical retail and this is targeted towards delivering a fast and flexible range of industrial hoses. These include both standard and special hose products for the chemical and food-processing industries, all of which are designed to meet the most stringent standards and regulations that are set for those industries. The high level of innovation and the consistent quality of

its products are seen as the key drivers for growth for Teknikum. Strong growth has also followed as a result of investments in Asia and Australia where it already supplies materials and products to a range of clients. When it comes to sustainability, Teknikum is committed to the protection of the environment and continuously monitors and develops its operations to minimise waste and reduce its energy consumption. The company strives to develop environmentally friendly products and seeks different possibilities for the reuse of n its waste products. For more information about Teknikum’s high-tech products and services visit:

SMART SUSPENSION PARTS Frauenthal Automotive GmbH produces suspension and air-braking system components at nine production sites in seven European countries for all leading European commercial vehicle manufacturers. Marco Siebel spoke with the market intelligence director, Bertrand Boivert, about the company’s energy-saving product innovations and market expectations.


rauenthal Automotive is Europe’s market leader in all of its product groups: leaf springs, stabilisers, u-bolts and air tanks. Headquartered in Vienna, Frauenthal Automotive is one of two divisions of Frauenthal Holding AG. The group has ten production sites in Europe. Frauenthal Automotive employs over 1800 people. Frauenthal Automotive offers springs ranging from 7kg to 400kg from parabolic springs to air suspension springs. From mono-leaf and multi-leaf springs to customised spring solutions, from the lightest LCV

to the heaviest-load truck. with a maximum spring thickness up to 80mm and maximum length of 2400mm.

Less weight means higher payload Every kilo counts in this business. By utilising increased stress-levels, a reduction of steel mass and the number of leaves, customers using Frauenthal Automotive leaf springs can save up to 100kg per truckload. Bertrand Boivert said, “Starting in the 1890s with production, we have constantly been building our expertise in spring production and Industry Europe 37

development. Today we are Europe’s market leader in quantities of springs produced and collaborate with the leading European truck and trailer manufacturers to serve their needs. Since 1975 we have led the industry in supplying parabolic springs; since 1983, air suspension springs; since 1996, 3D air suspension springs and since 1999 front mono-leaf springs for heavy trucks. In 2005 we produced the first high-stress 7.5 ton front-axle monoleaf springs. Today we are Europe’s industry leader for supplying LCV, truck and trailer leaf springs – and we aim to be better every day.”

Space-saving and customised air tanks Frauenthal Automotive air tanks have great potential to free up chassis space for the new parts, equipment and technologies

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driven by demanding emissions regulations. Whatever size or configuration customers need, the Frauenthal Automotive team of engineers provides the experience and technical know-how to create the steel or aluminium air tanks specified. Bertrand Boivert said, “Our innovations allow customers to have their vehicles equipped with a diesel engine ready to substantially reduce their emissions of nitrogen oxides as soon as the Euro 6 standard enters into force, as of September 2014. Our customised, space-saving solutions include head-fixed mounting systems, and multi-chamber air tank systems. Our products can rightly be called smart products; their success is confirmed by the annual sales of more than 2,000,000 air tanks.”

Individual weight-saving stabilisers The stabiliser plays a key role in a bus and truck suspension by improving vehicle stability, handling and enhanced comfort in the curves. Frauenthal Automotive’s mainstay in truck suspension is the solid stabiliser, but it has also developed and produces tube stabilisers. The advantages of tube stabilisers are becoming increasingly important in all weight-critical applications in the new generation of trucks. Tube stabilisers are up to 45 per cent lighter and enable a significant reduction in both unsprung and total weight. Frauenthal Automotive’s expertise lies in medium to big diameter stabilisers, of which the company sells annually over 300,000, making it Europe’s industry leader for truck and bus stabilisers.

Bertrand Boivert said, “Frauenthal Automotive is the only supplier of both solid and tube stabilisers in the European truck market. For over three decades, we have been partnering with the truck and bus industry to provide more efficient suspension solutions. We have been producing solid stabilisers since 1981, and started producing tube stabilisers in 1993. Up to 45 per cent lighter, tube stabilisers enable a significant reduction in both unsprung and total weight. They help our customers to meet today’s fuel consumption challenge and the expectations of higher payloads.”

U-bolts U-bolts carry the weighty responsibility for safety in all trucks, buses and trailers. Frauenthal Automotive produces suspension U-bolts using the most advanced technologies available, especially in the key manufacturing processes of thread rolling, heat treatment, bending and anti-

corrosion protection. Frauenthal Automotive supplies solely to original equipment manufacturers, adhering to standards ISO/ TS 16949:2002, ISO 14001:2004, and OHSAS 18001:2007. The company sells over 3,000,000 U-bolts each year.

Investments and market expectations Bertrand Boivert concluded, “In October 2012 we doubled the production capacity of our Romanian leaf-spring factory, now able to produce up to 25.000 tonnes of leaf-springs per year. The company added 58 people to the existing staff. In November 2012, we acquired an air-tank factory in the Czech Republic, and the group’s strategy is based on further acquisitions. We have mainly been serving OEMs in Europe, Russia and Latin American countries, but we have also seen an increase in indirect sales to ‘completely knocked down’ manufacturers in Australia, South Africa and Malaysia.” n Industry Europe 41


COMPONENTS FOR CARS Finnveden Polska SA, of Bielsko-Biala, Poland, is a leading producer of screws and metal structures for the car and commercial vehicle markets. It also constitutes an important part of Finnveden Group, a renonwed Swedish partner to the international automotive industry, writes Piotr Sadowski.


innveden, with headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, is an engineering group with strong positions in a number of market segments. It is a leading supplier to the car and commercial vehicle markets, developing and manufacturing customerspecific components and systems, based on metallic materials. The group has five production units, three of which are in Sweden (Forsheda, Hultsfred and Olofström) and two in Poland, in Bielsko-Biała. In addition, it has assembly units in Sweden, Belgium and the UK. The origins of its presence in Poland, however, go back as far as 1998, when

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Swedish company Bulten AB acquired part of Bielska Fabryka Wyrobów Śrubowych (the Bielsko-Biala Screw Products Factory).

In the group The roots of the original factory date to the late 19th century. The manufacturer consisted of two companies: ‘Bartelmuss & Suchy’ and ‘Theodore Pollak & Son’. The first one was founded in 1880 with the aim of producing screws, washers, rivets and accessories for textile industry. ‘Theodore Pollak & Son’ began its activity in the 1909 manufacturing wire goods, drawn wire, nuts,

rivets, iron bolts and screws, metal plugs and materials for the railway industry. This initial division defined the company’s further history. After World War II it became a state-owned factory consisting of two units from what earlier were the old Bartelmuss and Pollak factories. In the 1960s a development and modernisation of the company was started and important investments were made. As a result, it has become a leading company in the screw business in Poland. Changes in the political system in Poland and the transformation from a planned socialist economy fully controlled by the State to a free

market took place in 1989. In consequence, state-owned companies went through the process of privatisation. Bielska Fabryka Wyrobow Srubowych was transformed into a joint-stock company owned by the State Treasury. This transformation was followed by a further privatisation process. As a result, the production was again split into two parts: the Automotive Division and the Standard Division. In 1998, the Automotive Division was purchased by Bulten AB, a leading supplier of fastening systems, mainly to the European automotive industry. Thus the two long industrial traditions have merged, as Bulten was founded in 1873. In 2000, Bulten AB was acquired by another Swedish Company, Finnveden. Founded in 1982 Finnveden’s aim was to develop and safeguard the trade and industry in the local business area. During the late 1990s a new strategic direction was set. Finnveden AB was to become a

global supplier to the international automotive industry. In November 2004, a public cash offer was made to the shareholders in Finnveden AB by Nordic Capital, a Swedish private equity company. Three months later the offer was finalised. With new owners, Finnveden continued to establish a presence in new geographical markets. Currently, Finnveden’s core operations are divided into two business areas named: Bulten and Metal Structures. Bulten traditionally develops and manufactures a wide range of fasteners for the automotive industry, from standard products to leading-edge fasteners. The offering also includes technical development, materials and production know-how and logistics. Customer-specific special fasteners also make up a large part of the product range. Metal Structures develops and produces optimised multi-material interior and exterior

structures for car and truck applications. The offering is based on extensive materials and process know-how, along with unique knowledge of the effects on the application of using several different materials.

Screws and castings Both parts of the Finnveden activity are present in Poland. As part of the Bulten division the Polish operation is the leading producer of screws in Poland. The range of items depends on the needs and expectations of customers. What is specific for the company is that it is able to manufacture screws on the basis of a customer’s engineering drawing. The company delivers screws that fasten components, such as airbags, safety belts and other safety equipment items to such automotive companies as Audi, Autoliv, Bosch, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan, Opel, Scania, Toyota, TRW, Volkswagen, Volvo and others.

We have been building plants and individual machines for metal treatment for over thirty years. Saving energy and water along with the control of harmful emissions into the atmosphere have always been priorities in our design processes. Our hallmarks are product design based on the specific needs of our customers, accurate realisation of their unique vision, the use of top quality materials and high operational reliability. Our customers include some of the leading European and worldwide companies. Tel. +39 0362.99.77.77 Fax +39 0362.99.77.07


Stalmax is a producer of special steel fasteners and coatings.

„MAN FOR QUALITY – QUALITY FOR MAN” STALMAX - Jeż Stanisław, Jeż Robert - Spółka Jawna Piątkowiec 55 B, 39-308 Wadowice Górne, Poland tel. +48 14 666-11-11, fax +48 14 666-11-12, e-mail:,


TAKONI specialises in manufacturing technical rubber products of any shape and application. From the beginning of our operations, manufacturing the highest quality products while preserving the minimal cost levels has been our priority. This premise, combined with many years of experience and a base of proven suppliers, results in a decisive competitive advantage on the market. This has been recognised and appreciated by many clients, leaders in their sectors. The technologically advanced production processes, efficient machines, and a modern production facility come as the effect of more than 20 years of experience, which is at your command!

Takoni sp. z o.o. • ul. Bestwińska 103a, 43-346 Bielsko - Biała Tel.: +48 33 484-24-00 • Fax: +48 33 484-24-11 •

We specialise in manufacturing technical rubber products of any shape and application. We are a reliable supplier for the automotive industry, household appliance sector, agriculture, medicine, construction, mining, water supply and sanitary fittings sector, amongst others. We also provide technical consulting services for the selection of appropriate materials, production tool design and use of the final product. Our many years of experience, flexibility, focus on quality and punctuality give us a decisive competitive advantage not only on the domestic market, but on foreign markets too. Our operations abroad are conducted by our commerce and technology offices. Our largest branch in Laholm, Sweden is involved not only in commercial and technical operations, but also provides a complex logistical infrastructure.

It works with some of the industry’s leading suppliers and greatly values the cooperation, as it contributes to its own successes. The Metal Structures division operation in Bielsko-Biala relies on state-of-the-art technology of the magnesium casting house. It manufactures different vehicles parts for Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar. However, sometimes even this latest technology is not enough for achieving the exceptional quality of the final product that is required by clients. This is why the company performs hand-grinding when finishing the roof elements cast in Bielsko-Biała especially for Jaguar vehicles.

Efficient cooling system A modern and efficient technological cooling system is one of the key elements for the effective operation of a production facility. Termster Ltd, based in Krakow, a company with which Finnveden established a cooperation in 2005, has developed such a cooling system for the factory in Bielsko. Termster designed and installed the fully automated cooling system with a capacity of about 1250kW and with intermediate refrigerant circuit. The cooling system uses two separate modern chillers with glycol coolers, two plate heat exchangers and complete hydraulic and control equipment. The installation was designed to carry out technological cooling in the pressure foundry and also covers the need for ventilation. A few months later, Termster developed

the refrigeration system at the compressor station. It uses a chiller with a capacity of about 150kW with integrated winter freecooling. In 2013 Termster expanded the foundry’s technological cooling system by installing another chiller with a capacity of approximately 500kW, a cooling tower and an automation system that integrates all the sections of the cooling system. In designing and carrying out the first stage of the installation in 2005, Termster predicted the need for future expansion and made provision for the appropriate connections. Thanks to this the development went smoothly, without the need to shut down the cooling system and halt production.

Long-term partnership Stalmax is a producer of special products and coatings, and is happy to have been a respected partner to FINNVEDEN BULTEN for many years. Stalmax is well known in Poland

as a producer of screws and fasteners, mainly for the automotive and carpentry branches. They are characterised by their high geometric accuracy and unique properties. The primary aim of Stalmax’s strategy is to foresee and fulfil the expectations of its clients in terms of quality, timely deliveries, reliable and trustworthy partnerships and competitive prices.

Well-adjusted traditions Finnveden Polska employs around a third of all the group’s employees around the world and reaches significant levels of annual sales, close to €30 million. The majority of the production is sold abroad. In Finnveden Polska not only are the industrial traditions merged, but what is also present is the Swedish socially responsible corporate model. The company invests in its people as it realises that this translates into n overall business success.

MOTIVE POWER Inci Aku is a well established brand leader in the manufacture of batteries for the automotive industry and is now expanding into new market sectors. Philip Yorke reports on a Turkish company that has its sights firmly set on becoming one of the top ten battery manufacturers in the world.


nci Aku was founded in Turkey by Cedvet Inci in 1984 and with its special commitment to technological development and customer service, the company has seen continuous growth. Highlights include a joint venture with CEAC of France in 1993, the opening of a major new plant in the Ukraine in 1998, obtaining a Ford Q1 certificate in 2006 and becoming an ‘A’ class supplier for Volvo Exports in 2009. 46 Industry Europe

Today the company remains a private, family-owned business and is active on three continents. It is also the original equipment supplier to many domestic and international automotive manufacturers. Inci Aku belongs to the Inci Group which comprises 16 autonomous companies in Turkey and employs approximately 2,000 people. It exports its batteries to some 70 countries across the world.

New capabilities Inci Aku began by manufacturing automotive parts including wheels and accessories, before moving into the manufacture of batteries in 1993. The company was established at Manisa, in Turkey, where it currently operates two battery plants. The No1 plant focuses on starter battery production and has a capacity of 4.5m batteries per year. Three years ago the company began the construction of a

second 100,000m2 plant at Manisa which now produces some 80,000 industrial batteries per year. Inci Aku’s Ukraine plant is focused on starter battery production and has a current capacity of 300,000 a year while its Romanian operation, Roleco Recycling, is a lead smelting plant with a capacity of 14,000 mts/year. In 2011 the company also established Inci Energy GmbH, a sales and distribution operation, in Duisburg, Germany. Inci Aku CEO Goskel Paker said, “We are enlarging our product portfolio in a significant way. Our success has been based on our ability to produce a range of high quality starter batteries for the automotive market and be flexible enough to meet the challenges of a changing marketplace. However, today we

are moving into the production of both motive power batteries and reserve power batteries. We already have had experience with the production of motive power batteries. Back in 2005 we started assembling these batteries with a license from an Austrian Company called Bauen and subsequently entered into a joint venture with Varta. “The demand for these new special duty batteries is coming from our existing customer base as well as from some new customers. We are also increasing our capabilities at our other primary production plants and in particular at our flagship starter battery plant in the Ukraine where we are continuing to invest in order to increase capacity. Our state-of-the-art recycling plant in Romania has doubled our recycling capability. Recy-

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

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Expanding global reach Traditionally Ici Aku has focussed on serving the Balkan markets and the Russian CIS countries from its facilities in the Ukraine. However during the last decade the company has established the Middle East as the main market for its products. This success acted as a springboard for its move into North and South Africa. Goskel Paker explained, “We are planning to grow in different markets with different products organically, but we are keeping our options open with regard to the possibility of acquisitions in the future. We have our own dedicated research and development centre

in Turkey with over 60 specialist engineers working on the development of new products, as well as increasing the performance of our existing range. This is all part of a strategic plan to deliver the battery products of the future and to meet our customer’s expectations. This March Inci Aku was among nearly 500 companies from 50 different countries that participated in the Motortec Automechanika Ibérica fair in Madrid, where a wide variety of products were presented ranging from automotive components to auto accessories, tyres, vehicle construction, gasoil station equipment, lubricants, car maintenance, auto

lacquer coating, and workshop equipment. Göksel Paker pointed out that the fair enabled important commercial relations for İnci Akü, and he added: “Thanks to the fair, we learnt about new products and technologies being developed in the global market, and had a chance to introduce İnci Akü’s existing technology and targets. We mainly focused on providing information about our İnci Battery Gel Series. In our contacts, we had the opportunity to communicate our mission: ‘provide long-life quick solutions for energy storage’ and our target: ‘being among top 10 n battery manufacturers in the world’”.

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lan Nissen is the CEO of a company that was founded by his great-grandfather, Julius Nissen, in 1921. Nissens began by making car radiators and is now one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of engine cooling products. From the 1980s, under Alan Nissen’s direction, the business diversified and began to produce cooling solutions for a broader range of machines. Nissens today has two divisions, one for automotive spare parts and another, the 50 Industry Europe

The Danish company Nissens AS manufactures radiators, oil coolers, heat exchangers, charge air coolers and condensers for the automotive sector and produces complete cooling solutions for various industrial applications such as excavators, generator sets and mining and forestry equipment. Nissens is also a major supplier of cooling solutions for the wind turbine industry.

OEM division, which makes cooling solutions for manufacturers of wind turbine generators, buses, earth moving machines and other on- and off-road machines. “We started as a local company in Denmark, but over the last decades we have developed into a global company with production plants in Slovakia and China,” stated Mr Nissens. “We decided to build our factory in Slovakia in 2003, and it was ready by 2005. We need the factory in China because our

biggest customers are expanding into China and want us to serve them in the region from the region.”

Offshore wind Denmark is famous for its pioneering role in the renewable energy industry. The Nissens OEM division moved into wind power as long ago as 1988 and produces cooling systems for wind turbine generators. As a wind turbine generates electricity it also produces heat.

A wind turbine therefore needs a cooling system to cool the generator, along with the gearbox, converter, transformer and hydraulics. Customers include leading wind turbine manufacturers like the Danish firm Vestas Wind Systems and Siemens Wind Power. Cooling systems from Nissens can be found in nearly all offshore wind farms like Horns Rev, off the coast of Denmark, and the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, which is located off the Kent coast.

Customised cooling modules and cooling systems Nissens offers customised cooling modules and indirect cooling systems for on- and off-road applications. “Most of our on- and off-road customers buy a complete cooling module including steel parts, fans, motors, etc., and we see an increasing interest for our indirect cooling systems combined with our water cooled charge air cooler,” says Thomas Juul Eilersen, the company’s vice-president for

sales and projects. The indirect cooling systems consists of a low and a high temperature radiator which cool part of the machine indirectly through a water cooled charge air cooler (WCAC) and aluminium heat exchangers. The indirect cooling system has several benefits such as reduced complexity in the front end cooling module, optimised dimensioning through sharing of a pooled cooling capacity, faster response from the charge air cooler and up to 5 per cent lower fuel consumption. Industry Europe 51

Nissens also offers complete cooling systems including pump stations, heat exchangers, hoses, valves, etc. that cover all the cooling requirements of a modern wind turbine. “We aim to provide an integrated cooling system rather than just individual cooling components,” says Anders Allesø, research and development manager at Nissens. A wind turbine may look simple from the outside, but the technology inside the nacelle (the housing at the top) is complex

and has to function in demanding conditions. It is often difficult to reach an offshore wind turbine to carry out maintenance work, so the cooling systems from Nissens must be extremely reliable and are designed to have a lifetime of at least 20 years. Nissens sees a trend towards passive cooling in the wind industry where the coolers are mounted on top of the nacelle without any forced ventilation. Passive cooling takes advance of the speed of the wind and thereby

decreases the power consumption from the fan to zero. Intelligent and smart cooling is about looking at the total cost of ownership i.e. all the end user’s costs including operation and maintenance cost. With passive cooling and the correct control of the cooling systems pumps and valves Nissens ensures the optimum cooling set-up for its customers. In the last couple of years, Nissens has launched a new aluminium plate heat exchanger, a water-cooled aluminium charge air cooler and a new water pump station concept. In early 2012, Nissens brought out its new AluXstream cooler which is an improved cooling system that employs a special design of aluminum coolers, rather than the traditional ‘plate and bar’ type. The AluXstream enables a significant reduction in weight.

Markets Nissens exports over 90 per cent of its output. Within Europe, the company’s main markets include Sweden, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. “Our cooling systems tend to be highly customised,” stated Thomas Juul Eilersen. “Customers will involve us during the design of a new product and ask us to develop a prototype 52 Industry Europe

of the cooling system. The OEM division focuses on a special segment of the market. Typically we develop coolers for the kind of machine of which no more than 5000 units will be produced every year.” The Nissens factory in China began production in 2012. The result of some €10 million of investment, the factory at Tianjin is capable of developing cooling systems for the company’s customers in China. In renewable energy, the market in China is growing fast, as Mr Nissen explained. Nissens sells to the majority of leading wind OEMs and is seeing increasing interest from the large Chinese wind OEMs like Dong Fang and Goldwind. “We are a major suppliers of cooling systems for the wind power industry and expect a lot from the Chinese market. In wind power, China has become the biggest market for n new capacity.”

Aurubis Aurubis is the market leader in copper and brass strip for engine cooling applications utilizing soft solders and CuproBraze® technology. Aurubis uses the most efficient technology and offers innovative assistance in Research & Development as well as technical cooperation for our customers. Aurubis produce an extensive range of copper and copper alloys, which include alloyed brasses, copper tin alloys and our special alloy CuproBraze® as well as alloys such as DHP, OF, OFE, ETP, XLP, HPC and PHC for almost any application. Aurubis is the leading integrated copper group and the world’s largest copper recycler. Visit Aurubis at for further information.

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KEEP IT CLEAN Cleaning and filtration systems provider Dürr Ecoclean is proud to be ‘your partner in production efficiency’. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to global sales and marketing director Uwe Schubert to find out how this is being achieved.

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he Dürr Group is the world’s market leader in paint shops, balancing and cleaning technology, primarily for the automotive sector but also for aviation and other industries. Headquartered in Stuttgart, the Dürr Group has subsidiaries in 21 countries, including France, Austria, Spain, China and the USA, with 48 sales service centre locations and 30 production facilities. Founded in 1895 and family owned until 1989 when it became incorporated, the group has been listed on the German stock exchange since 2011. With around 50–60 per cent of all automotive paint shops and automotive assembly lines worldwide equipped with Dürr technology, it is clear that the group has a substantial global reach.

Dürr Ecoclean is a wholly owned daughter company of the Dürr Group and is dedicated to cleaning and filtration systems and integrated industrial cleaning services. Mr Schubert explained how the company fits into the group and benefits from its expansive footprint: “As we specialise in manufacturing cleaning devices and providing cleaning technology systems for large-scale operations, particularly those found in the automotive industry, our close cooperation with our mother company gives us unrivalled access to global paint shops and other automotive facilities. The Dürr Group achieved revenue and sales of close to €2 billion in 2011 and employs around 7000 people across our global locations. Dürr Ecoclean contrib-

uted more than €250 million to that figure and we employ around 1000 people, with about one third of those people at our fast-expanding facility in China.”

Global footprint Dürr Ecoclean’s global footprint is a major commercial advantage. The company is focused on continuing its expansion in emerging markets as well as cementing its presence in Europe and America, where its service centre is located in the famous automotive heartland of Detroit. Mr Schubert said, “We are growing quickly and heavily, particularly in India and Brazil. We have well-established manufacturing facilities and sales service centres in Mexico and China too, and it is in China that we expect to

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see double or even triple capacity in the coming years thanks to extensive investment and the utilisation of the opportunities across the region.” Another region that is already the recipient of Dürr Ecoclean’s investment is Russia. Here the company predicts a strong demand for its products and services. Mr Schubert continued, “We’re really focused on emerging markets, with the BRIC countries a strong strategic direction for us. We are finding that as emerging markets are more aware of the regulations surrounding cleaning and solvents, Dürr Ecoclean is well-positioned to make it possible to meet increasingly strict rules for production.” Dürr Ecoclean’s product portfolio is cleverly developed to ensure that all the tightest global legislation for cleaning in production are met. Its full service provision of solutions in terms of technical offerings means that it can deliver all the cleaning the customer requires. Its technological solutions are state-of-the-art, with its development team on hand to guarantee that all automated processes are cleaned effectively and efficiently. The company provides dedicated solvents for a wide variety of applications

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beyond its automotive and aerospace mainstays. It offers water-based, alcohol-based, modified alcohol-based and chlorinated hydrocarbon-based cleaners.

Expertise and excellence Mr Schubert explained how Dürr Ecoclean’s wide range of cleaning solutions is supported by its understanding of the demands of the cleaning process. He said, “We know the types of challenging environments where our products are used so we have developed them to perform exceptionally well in those conditions. We can provide closed systems that allow customers to fully control the solvent and support the ecological aspect of their operation, keeping the working environment safe as well as meeting their own ecological standards in-house. Dürr Ecoclean makes it possible for customers to use their hazardous solvents in a controlled way.” Part of this understanding of controlling solvents is visible in Dürr Ecoclean’s ‘ecoefficiency’ promise. The company has developed a market-leading technology that addresses the overall cost of ownership of the solvent, taking into consideration the ecological impact of the product

in all its forms and stages. This also values the ‘closed loop system’ that many of Dürr Ecoclean’s customers appreciate, which controls consumption of solvents yet maintains cleaning efficacy. As a dominant player in the industrial cleaning systems and solutions industry, Dürr Ecoclean predicts a continually bright future. With its lack of reliance on any one industry sector it has been able to perform well throughout the global recession and expects that this will continue. Mr Schubert concluded, “We are well-placed for aggressive growth. We have a wide application for our products and services, a broad global footprint of manufacturing and sales service centres and a strong plan for growth in emerging countries. Even though there has been some saturation in Europe, we foresee good performance in our established markets alongside exceptional growth in regions where our most established sectors – the automotive and aerospace industries particularly – are seeing excellent opportunities. We are also seeing new opportunities in sectors such as medical and optical worldwide. We follow our customers wherever they go in the world and offer a broad scope n of industrial cleaning solutions.”

DRIVING AUTOMOTIVE EFFICIENCY FURTHER Hilite was founded in Germany in 1999 and is a global leader in the development of engine and transmission products designed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Philip Yorke talked to Oliver Altmann, the company’s vice-president of sales and marketing, about its latest investments and products in addition to its new developments.

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Headquarters in Marktheidenfeld, Germany


ilite International is a leading global supplier of automotive system solutions with a special focus on fuel-efficient engine and transmission products for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Hilite products are installed in many of the world’s leading automotive OEM brands, including VW, Chrysler, Ford, GM and BMW. The company is owned by the international investment Group 3i along with its co-investor, the Chinese Investment Corporation (CIC) who are dedicated to growing and developing Hilite’s global engineering capabilities.

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Sales and R&D centre, Orion

Hilite is headquartered in Marktheidenfeld, Germany, and today the company employs over 1,300 people at eight locations across Europe, North America and Asia. In 2012 Hilite generated revenues of more than €387 million.

Cutting-edge automotive systems technology Since its establishment in 1999, Hilite has grown to become a globally active supplier to the automotive passenger car and commercial vehicle industries. Today the company’s advanced, highly innovative

products for engines and transmission systems set the standards across the automotive industry sector. Modern transmissions make a significant contribution to meeting future demands for the reduction of emissions and fuel consumption. With the trend towards automatic transmissions that offer wide ratio ranges of seven, eight or more gears and the growing potential of hybrid vehicles designed to improve energy efficiency, Hilite’s innovative concepts and applications have kept it at the forefront of today’s drive-train technology.

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The relentless increase in the demand for global energy and the subsequent rise in oil prices, in addition to the challenge of global warming, have increased the demand for new concepts in drive-train technology to reduce fuel consumption. Currently the trend is moving towards the implementation of double-clutch transmissions (DCT), continuous variable transmissions (CVT), automatic manual transmissions (AMT) or simply refined automatic transmissions. These are increasingly being applied to the growing number of hybrid engines. At the heart of these transmission controls are the control valves, which constitute the electrical signal in the TCU and the mechanical realisation of functions, such as actuating the clutch or shifting gears. Hilite products are setting the standards for modern solenoid valve technology and are designed for specific applications based upon clients’ individual requirements. Solenoid valve functions are therefore developed regarding system pressure, hysteresis, leakage and other dynamic specifications such as response time and control stability. Today Hilite is recognised worldwide for its commitment to achieving optimum functional 60 Industry Europe

performance, energy efficiency, dynamics, durability and cost-effectiveness. Mr Altmann said, “At Hilite we operate two distinct product groups: engine applications and transmission products. We place a very high priority on our investments in R&D in order to maintain our position as the technology leader in our field. We have recently invested in a new state-of-the-art sales and R&D centre in Orion/Michigan/USA and this new centre of excellence will also be developing our latest torque distribution products for OEMs’ four-wheel-drive vehicles. We are a first-tier supplier to the big global automotive manufacturers and work in close partnership with them to optimise their engine and transmission systems. Our latest double clutch transmission products have been developed inhouse and offer the most advanced products of their kind on the market. We are also investing in the development of systems, including solenoid valves for controlling regulated oil pumps, thermo management of oil and water systems and multi-channel valves with integrated functions like regulating oil pumps and switching piston cooling functions along with a range of innovative products for torque distribution in four-wheel-drive vehicles.”

Altmann added, “We are also increasing our investments in head-count, which will be rising from 1335 people at present, to more than 1600 in the upcoming years. We will also continue to grow organically in all regions with our operations located in close proximity to our key automotive customers’ manufacturing bases.”

Continuous camphaser technology Another technological development from Hilite is its continuous camphaser that undertakes a smooth relative adjustment of the camshaft dependent upon the load and speed of the engine. These phaser systems receive their oil supply directly from the oil pump of the engine and because of their low leakage they minimise the energy required to perform the adjustments during operation. Hilite camphasers are designed to be able to perform equally efficiently in ‘hot-idle’ mode, at low oil pressure and low oil viscosity, as well as under normal driving conditions. Through its extensive use of aluminium components, Hilite has reduced the total weight of its camphaser system with chain and belt drive. In particular, this lightweight phaser can also reduce the inertial masses involved.

This is especially important for small engines where weight and performance are deciding factors in choosing such a system. Hilite continues to push the technological boundaries when it comes to automotive valve technology, and for its new generation of solenoid valves the focus has been firmly on durability, low weight, variability, modularity,

efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Furthermore, through its optimised electromagnetic circuit, the relationship between stroke work, volume and weight of the solenoid valve has been significantly improved. The high electromagnetic efficiency of the valve also leads to lower power consumption. This efficiency is further improved by minimising leakages

and pressure losses between the valve ports, leading to an optimised energy balance, which is especially noticeable when using n output-minimised oil pumps. For further information about Hilite’s latest cutting-edge technology products visit:


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OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALUMINIUM Hydro Aluminium Precision Tubing produces aluminium tubing for heat transfer applications and is a major supplier of aluminium components for the automotive industry. The company recently started using this expertise to develop solutions for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Joseph Altham spoke to Patrick Jansson, the company’s sales and business development manager, to find out more.


luminium precision tubing plays a hidden but essential role in several industries. All kinds of car parts are made of aluminium tubing, from power steering coolers to radiators. Hydro Aluminium Precision Tubing, a division of the Norwegian aluminium giant, Hydro, is one of the most experienced manufacturers of aluminium tubing for car parts and employs 1200 people at 12 locations worldwide. Aluminium is a valuable material for making car parts because it is much lighter than steel or copper. At the same time, aluminium has good thermal conductivity, making it a very suitable

material in cars for heat transfer components such as condensers and charge air coolers. “Much of the tubing inside a car needs to be absolutely impermeable, so some kind of metal is needed,” said Mr Jansson. “Multi-port extrusion (MPE) tubes for cars are probably our most common product, for things like the charge air cooler. In automotive, there has been even more of a focus in the past 10 years on lightweight materials to reduce fuel consumption.” As Mr Jansson emphasised, the automotive industry has very high expectations in terms of quality and durability. “One special development

was our HYCOT™/® aluminium tubes for fuel lines. The HYCOT™/® tubes have a special coating to give them exceptional corrosion resistance.”

High performance aluminium for HVAC A few years ago, as Mr Jansson explained, Hydro Aluminium Precision Tubing took the decision to expand the scope of its activities beyond the automotive sector. “We wanted to bring our knowledge of aluminium heat exchangers to the HVAC industry.” Having built up considerable expertise in air conditioning systems for cars, Hydro Aluminium PreciIndustry Europe 63

sion Tubing now makes components for the air conditioning in buildings as well. Whereas for car parts, aluminium is valued for its low density, the key advantage of aluminium over copper in HVAC applications is that aluminium works out two or three times cheaper. Hydro Aluminium Precision Tubing offers a wide range of products for the HVAC industry, including precision drawn tubes, extruded tubes and multi-port extrusions. “Our most common HVAC product is round aluminium tubing for air-con. We offer precision drawn tubes that have excellent surface quality. Installation companies fear corrosion, but we have developed special alloys with superior corrosion resistance.” The precision tubing is manufactured at Hydro’s factory in the Danish town of Tonder. Hydro also maintains a research centre nearby in Logumkloster. “Our research scientists have specialist knowledge of aluminium and investigate ways to improve resistance to

corrosion in cooperation with universities. We used our knowledge of coatings for car fuel lines to develop a ground heat collector. This is a tube that is dug one metre down into the ground and collects the heat from the sun. It needs powerful protection from corrosion as the ground could be damp or even contain traces of fertiliser.”

Innovation award Besides HVAC, another new departure for Hydro Aluminium Precision Tubing is refrigeration. The company produces aluminium tubes for the heat exchangers in refrigerators, and its customers include firms in Italy and Turkey. Meanwhile, solar energy is also proving to be a growth area for the company, which offers a range of products for the solar thermal market. “We produce round tubing for the traditional design of solar absorbers. This is then built into the solar collector. Solar panels are being used increasingly in indus-

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trial settings like breweries and bakeries, as well as for heating hot water in the home.” In 2011, Hydro and the Finnish company, Savosolar, won the prestigious Intersolar award for the all-aluminium MPE absorber they jointly developed. The completely new design is thinner than the traditional harp absorber and also more efficient. Hydro’s MPE tubes constitute the basis for this innovative design, since the MPE tubes contain heat transfer fluid over the absorber’s entire surface area, something that is not possible with a conventional tube and plate absorber. “Instead of welding round tubes to sheet material, the new absorber design uses MPE profiles. The MPE profiles enable a reduction in the average distance between the heatabsorbing surface of the panel and the heat transfer fluid in the absorber. The heat energy has less far to travel and the new panel is 10 per cent more efficient as a result.”

The big picture As the renewable energy sector searches for more efficient and cost-effective solutions, Hydro Aluminium Precision Tubing has already proved it can achieve ground-breaking results and now sells tubing for solar panels to partner companies in Germany, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Greece. In HVAC as a whole, Hydro’s big ambition is to promote the adoption of aluminium as a replacement for copper, in much the same way that, 30 years ago, the company pioneered the move from steel to aluminium in the automotive industry. Given Hydro’s high reputation in the European automotive market, the growth prospects for the company in HVAC and solar energy n appear promising.


Byggma ASA is the holding company for a number of companies involved in the production of boards, panels, flooring and other materials for the construction industry. Industry Europe looks at the structure of the group and its core activities.


he companies under the Byggma ASA umbrella produce a very comprehensive range of boards, panels, flooring and other materials used within the construction industry. The companies operating within the group structure today include Forestia, Huntonit, Fibo-Trespo, Masonite, Aneta, Respatex and Uldal. The idea behind the acquisition of a number of companies with complementary activities under one holding company was to offer its clients on the Norwegian market a complete range of products and services for all their construction needs. Byggma’s history reaches back to the 1950s and the establishment of the company Norsk Wallboard AS, a manufacturer of wood fibre products. Byggma itself was established as its sales and marketing arm but quickly became the holding company for several different companies, all of which had their own production facilities. The number of these has gradually increased over the years. For example, Fibo-Trespo was

acquired in 2000, the Uldal Group in 2000 and the Rolf Dolven Group in 2004. In 2007 it purchased Forestia from Norske Skog.

Core activities The companies within the Byggma Group cover several different activities. Forestia is the Nordic region’s leading producer of particleboard intended for the building and furniture sectors, and also produces I-beams for construction purposes. It exports a large percentage of its product range, which includes furniture boards, building boards, heavy-duty load-bearing boards and I-beams. Fibo-Trespo AS is a producer of bathroom panels and laminated products, whilst Huntonit AS offers various building materials. Uldal AS is a manufacturer of windows and doors, Sasmox OY produces tensile and fire-retardant panels, and Byggma Belysning AS is a producer and wholesale dealer of illumination products. Of the final two, Masonite AB is a producer

of fibre boards and Aneta Belysning AB offers lighting solutions. Byggma’s sales activities are operated through three international subsidiaries: Huntonit AB in Sweden, Respatex Int Ltd in the United Kingdom and Fibo-Trespo Inc in the USA. The company is in a strategic partnership with AquaTile, Hoytrykkslaminat, LVL-bjelken, Huntonit I-bjelke, Fausfloor laminatgulv and Trespa. Byggma is operational internationally, with export markets in Europe and North America.

Waterproof wall panels Fibo-Trespo produces totally waterproof, ultra-hygienic wall panels, which are designed and manufactured in Norway. Its wall panels offer a unique system for cladding wet-room walls. They are also well suited for commercial hygienic applications such as medical offices and hospitals, restaurant kitchens, laundries, locker rooms, cloakrooms, etc. The waterproof hygienic panels combine elegant beauty with

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unparalleled practicality. They are easy to install, require little maintenance, and have long lasting durability. Each panel has a WBP (water and boil proof) plywood core, with a balancer laminate on the reverse side and a high pressure decorative laminate surface. A tongue-and-groove system down the length of the panel allows for quick and easy installation. In the UK, these panels are marked with the name Respatex.

The Huntonit range includes both wall and ceiling panels and half-panels – all ready surface-finished, ready for installation, stylish, and to the Scandinavian taste. The colour alternatives are refined and the surfaces easily cleaned. Huntonit panels are installed using tongue-and-groove joints, either directly onto a wall or directly onto studs. If desired, the panels can be repainted while the trim can also be painted in the same shades (NCS-colours).

Wall and ceiling panels

Unique fibre board methods

Huntonit AS produces wall and ceiling panels in Finland. The compressed, wood-fibre panels, which are painted five times, are pure natural products and highly durable.

Masonite AB is located in Rundvik in the north of Sweden. It is the only manufacturer in Europe that uses the unique Masonite method. Manufacture of the world-famous

fibre board started as early as 1929 and applications of the method have been developed over the years. The product range consists of own developed fibre board for sub-floors, external and internal walls, roofing, blind floors, structural board for timber frame buildings and there is also a range of oil-tempered materials for especially demanding environments. Masonite also manufactures the basic material for a number of applications, including different types of laminated flooring, packaging and sandwich elements. The unique manufacturing method used by the company means that wooden chips, with the help of steam, are blasted apart into long fibres which are formed into sheets of board. These are then pressed and hot-set to obtain finished fibre board. The long fibres resulting from this process give boards higher bending strength, tensile strength and stability than board with short fibres. Masonite’s fibre board has proven characteristics. This world-famous material is durable and resistant to moisture and rot. The material maintains its shape and does not alter with time. Distributors represent Masonite AB in n several European countries. Industry Europe 67

WORLD CLASS CONSTRUCTION MACHINERY Hidromek is a market leader in the design and manufacture of advanced construction machinery. Philip Yorke talked to Dr Ilhan Varol, the company’s business development, director about its major investments in new plant and its latest world-class excavators.

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idromek was founded in Turkey in 1978 and started as a small workshop in Ankara. The company began by mounting back-hoe and loader attachments to farm tractors. By 1991 it had developed the application of the world’s first four-wheel steer mode on to its own backhoe loader and by 1998 had achieved ISO 9001 certification. Based upon these successes the company embarked upon an export drive that saw its first overseas sales in North Africa, before going on to expand sales across all five continents of the globe. Today Hidromek is a truly international organisation that employs more than 1350 people and in 2012 recorded sales of over €275 million.

Technology driven Hidromek’s continuing success is not simply down to its state-of-the-art production facilities and dedicated customer services, but also due

to the company’s continuous investment in new technology and R&D. Since it was first established, Hidromek has consistently invested in product development to increase the performance, value-for-money and low maintenance costs of its machines. With its diverse range of excavators, all designed and manufactured in-house, the company has since grown to become the number-one construction manufacturer in Turkey and a market leader in some of its 50 sales regions worldwide. The quality and reliability of all Hidromek construction equipment is well known and endorsed by the continuous stream of industrial design awards that its machines attract. Recently the company achieved an ‘excellence in design’ award for its Backhoe Loader Maestro series, as well as for its Excavator Gen series and remains the only manufacturer to have received two design awards in this category.

Increasing production capacity and product range Hidromek’s core products are its advanced backhoe loaders and excavators that are available with both track and wheels. On offer are two-wheel steer and four-wheel steer versions with four-wheel drive models of backhoe loaders available at 100hp or more. The company’s diverse variety of excavators range from 14 tons to 54 tons. The production volumes of backloaders and excavators reached over 4000 units in 2012. In addition, Hidromek also produces excavators for special, tailor-made applications such as for tunnelling, material handling and demolition operations. In April this year the company had planned to launch its latest hi-tech 54 ton crawler excavator which is claimed to be the most advanced of its kind on the market. In terms of its manufacturing facilities, Hidromek operates four highly automated

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production plants in Turkey with a total productive floor space of over 180,000m2. Current production capacity is around 10,000 units per year. However, the company, in line with its vision for growth, has made major investments to establish an entirely new production facility which will increase capacity by a further 30,000 units per year. This latest, state-of-the-art plant will employ more than 150 of the world’s most advanced welding robots. Mr Varol said, “Hidromek is dedicated to a programme of continuous improvement and this is based upon our culture of listening carefully to our customers’ needs. Even one single customer’s voice is enough to create a change in our design plans in order to satisfy a new need and to improve still further the reliability of our products. Hidromek puts the customer at the centre of its processes, and our aim is to provide complete customer satisfaction. We serve our customers 24/7 with call centres that offer advice and technical support to minimise possible down-time. “In Turkey alone we have over 60 service centres and none of them are located more than 100km from our own depots. Russia is an important growth market for us and we 70 Industry Europe

already have 15 accredited dealers there, and this is all part of our commitment to be closer to our customers. Outside Turkey we have a total of 100 authorised service points. We also believe that our R&D produces technical achievements that keep us ahead of the field. This new technology is designed to provide increased operational efficiency, greater durability and improved fuel efficiency for our customers.”

Strategy for growth Hidromek continues to benefit from the organic growth created by its development of new technology. However, in today’s highly competitive market other strategies come into

play as Mr Varol explained, “Today’s construction machines are highly complex items and include electronics and mechatronics that require advanced materials and design excellence and expertise. “Today’s business environment is also very complex and requires planning and interaction on a global scale. We believe that pure organic growth that relies on using our internal resources may not be sufficient to achieve our full growth potential. Therefore our future growth will require acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances with a range of expert institutions and companies. However, we will continue to launch new, cutting-edge products over the next few

years that offer even more benefits to our customers. I believe that we will continue to see double-digit growth in the next few years and we will continue to invest in our workforce and the R&D that has brought us to where we are today.” Hidromek’s tried and trusted recipe for success continues to place it in a strong position for the future. On going investment in new manufacturing facilities and commitment to new product development will continue to ensure their position as a global player in the n construction machinery sector. For further information about Hidromek products and services visit:

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nwido is a well-established Swedish manufacturer of quality exterior doors and windows, both in wood and wood–aluminium. The Inwido Group has approximately 3800 employees in total, with 3000 in the Nordic region and the remainder located in Russia, Poland, Ireland and the UK. The company is owned by Ratos AB, one of Europe’s largest listed private equity companies. The group is responsible for over 20 major brands and enjoys market leader status throughout Scandinavia. After a period of restructuring and consolidation in 2008, which involved product rationalisation and a new brand strategy for Denmark and Finland, the company is now

expanding its operations. This has involved investing in new technology at many of its 35 manufacturing plants and subsequently making key acquisitions in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. In 2012, Inwido made the decision to divest its Home Improvement business area in order to concentrate on becoming a European leader in windows and doors. The division has been sold to the private equity fund Priveq Investment Fund IV. This subsidiary sold a number of different interior products for the home. Håkan Jeppsson, president and CEO of Inwido, said of the divestment: “Within Inwido, we are focused on becoming a European

Inwido is Northern Europe’s leading supplier of windows and doors, and a global leader in the design and development of energy-efficient windows. Industry Europe looks at the latest from the company.

leader in windows and doors. We have therefore decided to divest this business area since it is purely a trading operation with a different business model that has no connection with our other operations.”

Innovation driving growth Inwido operations are divided into four distinct market sectors; Inwido Sweden, Inwido Nordic, Inwido Europe and Inwido Accessories and Components. The company’s branded products are sold directly to consumers or via retailers and wholesalers as well as to manufacturers of prefabricated homes and construction companies involved in new-build developments. The company

maintains rigorous quality controls on all its products from construction techniques and costs to functionality, aesthetics and comfort. Inwido’s in-house R&D facility is dedicated to optimising the energy efficiency and sustainability of its products. For Inwido, this means taking technology to a new level to make it work in harmony with the people who live and work in the building. The company’s R&D department has also developed windows that have very low U-value and in future may even have built-in energy cells. The company has always strived to be at the forefront of energy-saving window and door technology. Its windows are designed in such a way that they can be cleaned on both sides from within; these are known as ‘two-in-one’ windows. In the past, it has also worked with Pilkington Glass to produce a range of ‘self-cleaning’ windows and

was the first company to market these in Europe. Its success is based very much on the quality of its products and its local presence in the countries in which it operates. A company spokesman said: “We don’t just see a window as a window, but all the things that are surrounding it, such as security locks, blinds, safety devices and other practical accessories. Today we are seeing strong demand in the new-build sector and an increasing demand for low-energy consumption, eco-friendly products.”

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

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


SPECIALIST Kronimus AG has been making concrete for the past half a century with a passion for innovation and unparalleled quality levels. Industry Europe looks at the reasons behind the success of the German family concrete specialist.

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he Iffezheim-headquartered concrete specialist Kronimus AG is dedicated to meeting the specific needs of its customers, offering the highest quality standards in concrete blocks and paving the way for future generations with a portfolio of durable concrete products. The family-owned company is now under the management of the third generation; the grandfather of the current CEO, Martin Kronimus, launched this specialist business more than 80 years ago back in 1925. It was only a very small company back then; the company we recognise today really started in 1955 with the production of its first concrete kerb. Today, the family firm owns a little more than 75 per cent of the company, with the remaining shares owned by HeidelbergCement, one of the world’s leading producers of building materials, which acquired its holding in Kronimus in 1991. Kronimus is a concrete product manufacturer that specialises in the production of concrete blocks and facades, cobblestones, paving slabs, roads and paths, as well as complementary ornaments and other decorative items for the garden. It is widely recognised in the industry as being one of the leading manufacturers of concrete blocks – and one that offers an unrivalled and comprehensive portfolio of products to suit the wishes of any customers, including the exacting demands of architects.

In fact, although the paving specialist delivers a wealth of standard concrete paving stones, kerbs, blocks and curbing in an assortment of colours for generic applications, the majority of its business lies in supplying paving slabs, stones and kerbs.

Complete product offering Unlike some other concrete product manufacturers, Krominus is able to supply its customers with the complete range of concrete products – the paving slabs, paving stones and kerbs, for example, all in the same colour. Once again this total offering puts the company in a winning position when working with architects and local authorities on largescale housing projects; and all deliveries have the same Kronimus quality hallmark. In fact, the company’s offering goes one further than the slabs and kerbs: Kronimus can also supply complementary garden, park or highway furniture such as fountains and ornamental products, if required by a customer. However, this remains a small part of the business, and is also something of an added value offering for the company as Kronimus is determined not to compete with customers who are active in this sector. Such a bulging portfolio and expertise in meeting customers’ specific needs has been a key driver of growth, particularly in the tough economic conditions being experienced in many of its markets.

In the future, Kronimus believes its biggest markets will be those areas where it is able to work on large city development projects. In fact, some of its latest projects have been focussed on the industrial sector, away from the temperamental property market. Kronmius’ confidence is well placed; its core competencies since its establishment have been the quality standards of its products, which are above and beyond those required by the Europe Union and set out by the DIN, the German Institute for Standardisation. It guarantees the lifespan of its concrete slabs, kerbs and blocks against corrosion from frost and the de-icing salts used to treat the roads and pavements in wintry conditions to a level that is seven times that of the European benchmark.

Regional production sites Currently, some 400 people are employed across production and the Kronimus factories function and manage application specific projects as if they were independent craft workshops. Since its establishment its skilled workforce has crafted and constructed components from concrete blocks according to the ideas and wishes of customers and town planners. The main factory is based in Baden-Baden but Kronimus also operates additional facilities in Freiburg, Heilbronn and Magdeburg. It maintains a rolling investment programme across all

KNOPP Group of its facilities, with heavy investments in new lines or in renewing or refurbishing production processes made every two years.

A breakthrough in coating In research and development, Kronimus is focused on satisfying a market need for new and innovative shaped paving. In fact, this German specialist has a rich history of innovation, and continues to work on developing new concepts: a few years ago it invented a new protective coating for concrete slabs designed for slabs to be used on terraces and patios to protect the surface of the slab from accidental

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spillages. This has achieved considerable success since its market launch. Judging by its previous success, Kronimus shouldn’t have any problems in satisfying its markets with new innovations, and in turn fulfil its strategy to achieve steady growth where it can guarantee the same quality level. The quality of its products, and its capacity to adapt to the changing needs of the customer has garnered great success over the years. Kronimus is a trusted and stable family business that is respected among customers who value its transparency and enduring commitment to meeting their needs, n and all with the minimum of fuss.

With a complete series of products for concrete and flooring and a passion for new ideas, the KNOPP Group is today on an expansion course throughout Europe and Asia. Our problemsolvers in ready mix, dry cast concrete block production technology and floor screeding are proven by a broad and innovative product range to increase efficiency, performance and quality. MTC concrete admixtures are especially used in the area of pre-fabricated concrete goods for pavement and masonry. Our experience with these semi-dry compacted concrete products is established on long and close cooperation with leading German manufacturers.

Photographer: Borut Peterlin

HIGH-CLASS ENGINEERING Trimo is a global provider of original and complete solutions for the construction industry with a well-earned reputation for building engineering excellence in its more than 50 years of history. Industry Europe looks at the reasons behind the company’s success.

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Photographer: Miran Kambič


rimo provides its clients worldwide with original and complete solutions in steel buildings, roofs, facades, steel construction, containers and sound-proof systems. It is represented in more than 50 countries, with daughter companies, representative and branch offices and agents in 25 of those. The company operates dedicated production facilities in Slovenia, Russia, Serbia and United Arab Emirates and its head office is located in Trebnje, Slovenia. Established in 1961 as a small family business, Trimo has grown to employ over 1100 people within a group and achieve a turnover of over €150 million, while still retaining the family values on which it was

founded. And these values continue to play an important role in the company’s success, particularly during the recent challenging economic times. A company spokesman said, “The recession certainly affected Trimo as it affected the whole of the construction industry, particularly with a lack of available investment and funding and with projects cancelled or delayed. We have been able to emerge relatively unscathed, however, and we believe that is largely due to the fact that we have a widespread international sales network that was able to balance the risks presented by different territories at different times.”

Innovation motivation As a mark of Trimo’s long-term commitment to staying at the very forefront of the construction industry’s ever-changing regulations, the company was the first to produce non-combustible products in 1987. Since then, it has continued to develop and launch fire-proof concept solutions for walls, panels and steel, which has seen Trimo expand its provision to that of a full service consultancy. As its portfolio and capabilities have grown, so too has its total service offer. Its strategy has been to maintain organic growth rather than carry out acquisitions, so it has always ensured that it is able to develop and maintain all the required expertise in-house.

Photographer: Studio Virc

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Photographer: Borut Peterlin

This strategy is also reflected in Trimo’s aim to achieve further rapid growth on a global level. Trimo knows that it is more than capable of redeveloping new concepts in new markets, by introducing local teams with extensive local market knowledge.

Award-winning products Trimo’s current product portfolio includes an extensive range of building panels, prefabricated buildings and construction sys-

tems as well as the Qbiss by trimo modular facade system and ArtMe facade surface treatment, which has been awarded the prestigious Red Dot Product Design Award in 2010. Mr Goste explained, “Qbiss by trimo stands for quality building innovation smart skin and is a completely modular facade system that has defined the standard for a modern building envelope. It’s practical and beautiful and one of our key products for future commercial growth.”

ROCKWOOL CORE SOLUTIONS To emphasize the importance of fire safe building envelopes, TRIMO and ROCKWOOL CORE SOLUTIONS organized together on the 11th of October in Trebnje, Slovenia, a seminar on fire safety of buildings, which included several expert presentations and real live comparative fire tests of different types of sandwich panels, under controlled conditions. With more than 150 participants from 15 different countries, the fire event was a great success. The expert presentations focused on standards for sandwich panels, fire safety in buildings and fire risk management. They raised awareness of dangers associated with smoke toxicity. In fact, most victims of fires suffer from breathing contaminated air containing poisonous gases and not from burns. Sandwich panels with different insulation cores are available in the construction market. Their fire resistance and their performance to fire vary significantly. During the fire tests, the fire performance of sandwich panels with polyurethane, polyisocyanurate and stone wool cores was compared. The tests showed that in a real fire situation sandwich panels vary in performance depending upon the core type and that polyurethane and polyisocyanurate sandwich panels produce substantial amounts of smoke. Choosing a product whose core is non-combustible is a certain way of ensuring that sandwich panels do not contribute to a flashover in a fire and will not significantly increase fire intensity at any stage. It’s up to all decision makers involved in the building construction process to make a responsible choice and decision for the optimum fire protection and safety according to the project.

Continued success Over the past couple of years Trimo has been focusing on development and continuity of projects, while looking to develop new relationships on good projects with financially healthy clients. Its dedicated R&D department has been pushing ever-harder with innovation. The company representative concluded, “We are a very strong company with a family spirit. Our focus on innovations that add value to building projects is consistently appreciated by clients and the architects that specify the Trimo name, and we are excited to see this positive story continue. We have a rather young workforce that is filled with new ideas and enthusiasm, as well as longer-term employees that bring a priceless experience to our products and projects. It’s a great balance and one that can meet the most demanding of requirements.” n

Photographer: Miran Kambič

THE SIKA SPIRIT Globally acting speciality chemical company Sika Group’s dedicated support division, Sika Services AG, underpins the Group’s on-going expansion. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the vice president of appliances & components – business unit industry, Dr Claire Thorey, to find out more.


peciality chemical company Sika Group was founded in 1910 by Kaspar Winkler. Winkler developed a quick-setting waterproofing admixture for mortar called Sika-1 whose descendants are still sold today, and his innovative, pioneering spirit is also still very much in evidence. The Group’s global expansion started in earnest in early 1935 and Sika today has subsidiaries in 76 countries worldwide, more than 15,000 employees and an annual turnover of around CHF 4.8bn. Head quartered in Baar, Switzerland, Sika Group offers over 600 brands including such recognised names as Sikaflex®, Sikasil®, Sikabond®, Sikadur® and SikaPower®. All of the Group’s products fall into one of its core business areas of waterproofing, concrete, roofing, sealing and bonding, industrial manufacturing and reinforcing. Its core competencies lie in concrete admixtures, speciality mortars, sealants and adhesives and steel corrosion protection systems.

Totally supportive Industry Europe spoke to Dr Claire Thorey, vicepresident appliances & components of Sika Services AG, the company which delivers support functions to all of the Sika Group subsidiaries worldwide. She explained how Sika Services provides support on a day-to-day basis and how this benefits the Group. She said, “Sika has many people close to its customers in the countries in which it is present. I believe it makes a real difference across all aspects of the business. We always have experts on hand to discuss whatever issues are happening and we have the knowledge, the know-how and the experience to solve them.” Another key differentiator between Sika and its competitors is its consistently good product and service quality, according to Dr Thorey. She is clear that the Group’s ability to deliver reliable performance at every level is an important commercial advantage. “What we call the ‘Sika Spirit’, which highlights our passion

for having the courage to innovate, enjoying strong partnerships and being persistent, is integral to the company’s achievements. It is these three core qualities that really define who we are and how we work; it also defines our success for more than a century.”

Investing in excellence Some major investments undertaken by Sika BU Industry recently are centred on delivering further cost savings to customers. With huge financial outlay to boost the Group’s research and development capabilities and engineering support, Sika is staying dedicated to its long-standing promise to offer high-quality, consistently reliable speciality chemicals. Dr Thorey said, “Sika is all about helping our customers to reduce their costs and increasing the performance of their products in the most efficient, responsible manner possible. For instance, one such new development is a Sikadur® structural epoxy adhesive that

is so much tougher compared to existing materials that it allows an unmatched crack propagation resistance, while keeping consumption low. Another example would be a Sikasil® structural silicone adhesive that offers a unique combination of immediate fixing power with long working time. “This is the kind of innovation that lets our customers have a shorter cycle time on their assembly line while keeping great flexibility

and this saves considerable time and money. Sika is always working on products that offer commercial advantages to our customers and that combine ease of use with quantifiable benefits.” Dr Thorey explained that the Group is always sure to be faster, fresher and better while delivering real advantages over and above cost savings. She added, “We make sure that our customers can use our products

to their best advantage, and we don’t leave them alone in doing so. We will help them select the best solution, we will test it according to their specifications if they wish, and we are also capable of advising them on how best to integrate the new step(s) in their processes. “We continuously invest in application equipment material and know-how to make this happen and naturally also regularly patent new application methods. We just launched

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Cabot Corporation Cabot Corporation’s CAB-O-SIL® fumed silica and SpectrAl® fumed alumina products provide exceptional performance benefits for a wide variety of applications and industries. Cabot’s fumed silica increases the viscosity of adhesives and sealants, provides thixotropy, improves extrusion properties during application, prevents sagging during curing (drying) and improves adhesive and reinforcing properties. It extends the product’s shelf life and maintains its characteristics during storage. Cabot’s CAB-O-SIL ULTRABOND 4740 is a high-performance surface treated fumed silica that maximizes adhesive performance, particularly in epoxy formulations

for bonding paste for wind blades. Cabot’s CAB-O-SIL ULTRABOND 5760 is another high-performance surface treated fumed silica structural adhesives for use in a wide range of industries including, automotive, aerospace, construction, electronics and flooring, among others. Cabot Corporation is a global specialty chemical and performance materials company headquartered in Boston, Mass, USA. Cabot’s other major products are carbon black, fumed silica, inkjet colorants, aerogel, elastomer composites, and cesium formate drilling fluids.

Dachser Dachser fulfills 151,000 shipping orders every year for markets in Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland via its European network for groupage and full-load shipments. The company combines various models of transport logistics in order to optimize flows of goods for Sika, with a focus on short transit times and absolute reliability, which is particularly important when delivering goods to construction sites. Dachser’s standardized network ensures that dangerous goods are handled correctly, and also complies with Sika’s company policy.

for instance a unique method to fill automatically in a one-step process, L-shaped profiles to bond glass plates. This is the kind of thing that shows our real value to our customers, we are interested in building long-term partnerships, based on mutual trust and benefits.” While around 80 per cent of the Sika Group’s turnover comes from constructionrelated industries, the Group is not reliant on any one region, so it is well positioned to maintain its market-leading position and expand in markets where construction is booming. Dr Thorey concluded, “We are almost everywhere in the world. We have extensive investment ongoing in every key target area and market and we are excited n about the positive future of Sika.”

Transparency throughout the supply chain through tracking and tracing as well as the proactive IT system Active Report support the long-term partnership between the companies. In 2012, the global logistics provider Dachser generated €4.41 billion in revenues at 347 locations around the world and transported 49.8 million shipments weighing a total of 37.5 million tons.

NATURAL ADVANTAGE Oleon is a global leader in the development and manufacture of base oleochemicals and their derivatives. Philip Yorke talked to Dirk Mertens, the company’s global lubricant business manager about its ambitious global investment programmes and growth in the lubricants market sector.


leon was founded in Antwerp in 1835 and was one of the first companies in the world to engage in the chemistry of natural fats on an industrial scale. Early success with the production of candles and soaps led to the company to diversify into the production of edible oils, margarines and vegetable oils. In 1957, PetroFina in association with Ashland (USA) established Oleochim in Ertvelde in Belgium with its head office in Brussels. This enabled PetroFina to branch out from its traditional field of petrochemistry into oleochemistry. However, when PetroFina 90 Industry Europe

finally decided to step out of the oleochemistry side of its business in 2000 the management bought out the company, setting on a path to further diversification and significant global growth. Today Oleon operates two distinct divisions: Base Oleochemicals, which produces such products as fatty acids, glycerine, mono-propylene glycol and technical oils; and Oleochemical Derivatives which manufactures products like esters, speciality chemicals and vegetable oils. The company operates two major production sites in Belgium, one in Nor-

way, one in Germany as well as one in France and another in Malaysia. Oleon is a global leader in its field and employs over 800 people worldwide. In 2011 the Oleon Group recorded sales of more than €700 million.

Innovative, high performance products driving sales Innovation has always been a priority at Oleon and this is underscored by its ongoing investments in its five state-of-the-art R&D sites worldwide. There are two located in Belgium, with one in Germany and

another in Malaysia. This is in addition to its research headquarters based in Venette in France where it also develops new, innovative production technologies based upon renewable resources. Oleon divides its R&D activities into five areas of operation. The first is customer support, where it helps customers with their R&D challenges by offering them the right molecule or by analysing a problem and proposing the optimal solution. The second is Process R&D where considerable effort is dedicated

to continuously improving its own production processes. The third is Application R&D where its labs test newly developed or existing molecules in circumstances that mimic market conditions. The fourth area is Formulation R&D where its teams of formulatory chemists provide advice to customers involved in different market segments and the fifth sector is what the company calls Blue Sky R&D. This concerns fundamental projects that look into the chemical building blocks of the future and the optimisation of renewable resources.

The chemistry of fats and oils and their derivatives is Oleon’s dedicated technological competence. The company’s high-tech products are made from renewable raw materials that combine high performance with readily biodegradability. Today, Oleon offers a vast range of functional, sustainable products that are tailor-made for a diverse range of manufacturing industries. These range from agro-chemicals to automotive and food additives, and from personal care to special lubricants and solvents.

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Investing in a greener future Oleon continues to invest heavily in new plants and technology and a recent example of the scale of its investment programme was revealed in June 2012 when it inaugurated its new bio-propylene glycol production facility in Ertvelde, Belgium. This advanced technology plant represents an investment of more than €8.2 million and takes advantage of unlimited available resources. With this investment in green chemistry, Oleon is strengthening its long-term position at Ertvelde, establishing it as the leading oleochemicals factory in Europe. This state-of-the-art unit converts glycerine into bio-propylene glycol using the very latest technology. 92 Industry Europe

Mr Mertens said, “We continue to invest in new technology and to extend our value chain and product ranges. We are seeing growth in all our application areas, from personal care and food additives to agrochemicals and lubricants. Our recent investments in our Malaysian plant have doubled its capacity from 17,000 tonnes to 35,000 tonnes in 2012. This is designed to serve our Asian Pacific and US markets. We are number one in Europe today and a major global player with over 600,000 tonnes of oleochemicals produced every year. More than 120,00 tonnes of this is being produced as ester derivatives.

“We have also recently opened a new sales office in Shanghai in China. This will support our efforts to serve this market even better and develop our capabilities to China mainland. China is ready to use biodegradable lubricants and hydraulic oils and as this is still a young market for biodegradable oils, we see the window of opportunity for growth. We are also in the process of opening an office in Brazil which should be operational in the coming months. “Our sales of biodegradable lubricants, hydraulic oils, two-stroke base oils and additives are all seeing strong growth and offer many benefits over petroleum-based alternatives, including technical advantages and obviously green credentials. We try to stay as close as possible to our customers to support them if they have new projects, so we are involved with them from the cradle to the market. Our goal is to be more innovative and more customer orientated and it has taken us over two years to build

a team which can deliver the R&D that really makes a difference for our customers competitive edge.” In all our application areas the focus for the development of new formulations is: higher activity of active ingredients, improved biodegradability of the formulations and raw material sustainability. Supplying products that offer the highest possible levels of performance in a wide variety of application areas is just part of the product promise of Oleon’s sustainable n and biodegradable formulations. For further details of Oleon’s highperformance, biodegradable products and services contact us at

Catalysts portfolio

Chimet produces supported catalysts based on precious metals (Pd, Pt, Rh, Ru) used in many applications like the hydrogenation of organic intermediates, purification of terephthalic acid, synthesis of hydrogen peroxide, and volatile organic compounds abatement (VOC). The most common catalysts are supported on activated carbon, and oxidic supports (i.e., AI203, SiO2, CaCO3, BaSO4).

Palladium catalysts for hydrogenation of Fatty Acids Chimet is one of the main supplier of precious metal catalysts for the hydrogenation of fatty acids. In particular, a varieties of palladium on carbon catalysts are available with good performance in terms of activity and selectivity.

About Us

Chimet is a leader in precious metals recovery and refining, as well as in manufacturing precious metal catalysts. Our service in catalysts involves a full loop service going from the production of fresh catalysts to the metal recovery from the spent catalysts. The recovered precious metal is again transformed into fresh catalyst.

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THE RIGHT CHEMISTRY Well-established Swedish company Perstorp is one the world’s leading suppliers of chemical products. With plans for strategic expansion in high growth areas, Perstorp’s second century looks likely to be just as successful as the first.

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stablished 1881 in the southern Swedish village from which it takes its name, specialist chemical supplier Perstorp has grown to become a USD 2.5bn company with more than 2200 employees. Privately held until 2001, Perstorp is currently owned by one of Europe’s largest private equity companies, PAI Partners. Perstorp has manufacturing units in 11 countries worldwide, particularly present in Asia, Europe and North America, with its very active plans for continued expansion focusing on the increasingly important Chinese market. As one of the world’s leading suppliers of chemical products for a wide range of industries and applications, Perstorp is especially active in the field of coatings. With its ‘130 years of Winning Formulas’ a well-known marketing slogan in the global chemicals market, Perstorp is justifiably proud of the competitive advantage its lengthy history offers. Head of business group Speciailty Intermediates and deputy CEO Mats Persson explained, “We are in a leading position wherever in the world we are active, which we have achieved by focusing on the local market in each territory

and responding to the precise needs of each market. So although we are not the biggest chemical company globally, we lead wherever we are, in the first, second or third market position in every region we’re in. As we steadily and strategically increase our global presence, we are more and more aware of the advantage of our 130-year history, not just in terms of marketing but because it means we have come across so many situations throughout our history that we are always able to find a suitable solution.”

Plenty of advantages This focus on delivering solutions to the chemical production industry also helps set Perstorp apart from the competition. The company works to produce special building blocks for the chemical industry by working closely with its customers as a solutions provider and development partner. With around 80 per cent of its research and development linked to chemical solutions that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, much of its activity is driven by a passion for sustainability, both within Perstorp and among its customers.

Perstorp’s product portfolio is broad but can be divided into four core platforms, with each working with the other as needed to deliver complete solutions. The first platform is Perstorp’s polyalcohol activities, in which it is the global leader. This important area includes the company’s core industry sector of coatings, with its main customers using its chemicals for various technical solutions. The second Perstorp platform is its caprolactones activities, with the company holding the leading position in each territory in which it is active. Perstorp has recently opened a new unit alongside its existing unit which has doubled its caprolactones production. The company sees a great future in caprolactones and has invested a great deal in this new facility. The third platform in which Perstorp is active is its ‘oxo business’ where it also enjoys a strong presence. The ‘oxo business’ is connected to the provision of key raw materials for its main customer industries, such as the petrochemicals industry in Sweden, and the company is predicting this to be an important growth market in the coming years.

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The fourth and final platform is Perstorp’s isocyanate range of plastic polymers. The company operates this provision mainly from its location in France, where it is also the global leader in this field.

Meeting the global demand The increasingly global reach of Perstorp is perfectly in tune with the general megatrend of customers wanting global suppliers. Mr Persson said, “Each of our four platforms listens closely to the changing needs of our customers, and we all communicate closely to ensure we benefit from feedback and expertise. We are finding that as many of our customers are increasingly active worldwide, so too do they want to deal with global suppliers, suppliers that understand how their business is both the same and yet different in different countries. We excel in this field, and are a committed solutions provider to customers worldwide.” With 50 per cent of Perstorp’s current business activity focused on the coatings industry and extensive investment in R&D, the company’s future is clearly well-positioned to respond to the most modern of megatrends. The company has also been expanding its activities in China with the long-term aim to give strong attention to the exciting opportunities across Asia. The high-growth region has an increasing demand for chemical products, and Perstorp is working to deliver sustainable solutions. It is also open to considering suitable acquisitions to continue its expansion in the region. Perstorp will continue to be driven by the increasingly strict regulations for reducing environmental impact for coating systems in particular, and is looking forward to meeting the challenges of this fast growing, n dynamic sector. Industry Europe 97

TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS OJSC Arnest is one of the most successful enterprises manufacturing perfumery-cosmetic products and household chemicals in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Mr Igor Gubenko, marketing director of the company, talks about the fundamental advantages of the business. Vanja Svacko reports.


hree main industrial sites – OJSC Arnest, located in Nevinnomyssk in the Stavropol region, Aerozol Novomoskovsk in the Tula area and Divi in Moscow – are working towards the business goal of developing fully integrated systems for high quality manufacturing. From 1971, when the Nevinnomyssk factory for household chemicals was established, until 1993 when it was transformed into the open joint-stock company Arnest, some new brands were created through major innovations. The hairspray Prelest became the number one beauty product in the Russian cosmetic market. Parallel to it, the newly developed insecticide Dikhlofos opened new marketing horizons for Arnest, securing it a place among the five leading competitors in the field of repellents and insecticides. One of the most pressing concerns for the modern company is an environmentally relevant approach to the production process. “Our company is actively pursuing an ecological agenda and was the first aerosol producer in Russia to switch to

eco-friendly hydrocarbon propellants in 1996,” says Mr Gubenko. In 2004, Arnest was certificated ISO 14001 for complying with environmental policies.

Advanced product range Today Arnest offers more than 350 different products. There are three main categories: perfumery and cosmetic products in polymeric and aerosol packaging, household chemical goods (different cleaning products, footwear, furniture and car care products) and insecticidal products and repellents as well as antistatic agents. Arnest also produces its own aluminium spray cans, valves and spray caps, as well as aerosol propellants. Arnest provides a variety of services at every step of manufacturing, storage and distribution, including the quality control of products in its own laboratory, storage of finished products and logistic infrastructure and delivery through its own railway track. In addition, Arnest has a strong sales structure. The company distributes not

only its own brands, but also the brands of its partners. Arnest has always been customer oriented. “Our company keeps up with the times, constantly improving levels of professionalism and taking care of customers and partners,” explains Mr Gubenko. “In 2012 we released a new line of ecological laundry detergents, Garden. This year the line has been enlarged with ecological dishwasher gel concentrate and some other sanitary products. As far as perfumery-cosmetic industry is concerned, we have launched a new winning hair colour product Prelest Professional, which in addition to 100 per cent grey coverage, has a unique innovative feature, a 3D complex that gives hair an extra volume effect. A company like ours cannot keep winning the race by standing still, thus we are constantly developing new products.”

Reliable manufacturing partnership In 2005 Arnest started signing manufacturing contracts with famous European companies. L’Oreal, Unilever, Schwarzkopf

& Henkel, Procter & Gamble, Oriflame and American air freshener company Sara Lee are just some of the large enterprises that entrusted their production to Arnest. Rexona, Dove, Gliss Kur, Ambi Pur are among many brands manufactured by the Russian company. All partners are offered the full range of services in production, storage and distribution logistics. In 2010 Arnest was listed among the 300 fastest-developing companies in Russia, with a more than 60 per cent share of the aerosols market and more than a quarter of the styling market. “In 2007 and 2008 we acquired Aerozol-Novomoskovsk (Russia) and the Barony Universal (UK), and in 2011 the Russian brand leader in shoe care Dividik along with its production capacities. 2012 was marked by the acquisition of the

Italian factory Alpatec,” says Mr Gubenko. To handle the enlarged production and to fulfil all commitments from the manufacturing contracts, Arnest has implemented programmes of training, education and research, as well as applying contemporary management methods while still adhering to the core values of its business such as responsibility and innovativeness.

Expanding horizons Speaking about the markets, Mr Gubenko explains that their main market is in the territory of the Russian Federation, with special attention paid to the markets of the former Soviet Union and Europe. “It is always very important to actively explore similar markets but also to be aware of the market competitors,” says Mr Gubenko. Having

a long experience in the industry, Arnest understands the importance of innovations and proactive corporate policy in being a successful business. “Our company is not standing still and we are seriously considering expanding to the markets of North and South America, as well as to Asia.” Mr Gubenko believes that the company’s growth will be a result of the synergy between organic growth and the acquisition of new businesses. The major goals for the future of Arnest are “its active participation in shaping European markets, maintaining its leading position in Russia and rapid expansion into American markets. In order to achieve all this, Arnest will have to keep on offering unique n and innovative products.” Visit:

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LINGERIE FOR THE MODERN WOMAN Karl Conzelmann GmbH + Co KG is the textile company situated in south-western Germany that has created its lingerie brand Nina von C. Marco Siebel spoke with managing director Mathias Conzelmann, one of the company’s founder’s grandsons.


athias Conzelmann currently runs the family business from the southwestern town of Albstadt, between Stuttgart and Lake Constance, together with his cousin Doris, brother Ulrich and sister Martina, after whom the line Nina von C. was named. Mathias Conzelmann said, “Our father Walter held the leading management role in the company from 1953 and still contributes his full energy, extensive textile experience and technical expertise for support on all levels. How we got the brand name ‘Nina von C.’? Our youngest sister, when she was still a small child, had difficulties pronouncing our elder sister’s name Martina, calling her Nina instead. Nina pronounces well in any language, so we decided to use Martina’s short name, and it works very well.”

A winning brand The company was founded in 1920 by Mathias’ grandfather Karl Conzelmann, a successful entrepreneur, whose creativity and drive for constant innovation led the company to success. These principles have guided the company through almost an entire century, with constantly changing and challenging collections to show. Starting with the year 2000 the company began to sell the Nina von C. brand to selected retail partners in major German cities: Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main. Nina von C. became more and more visible, and by 2005, brand awareness had already reached 18 per cent. Whereas before, women looked to lingerie for the feeling and security of just being well dressed, today it has also a momentum

of self-indulgence – just to buy beautiful things for themselves. Nina von C. is sexy in an aesthetic way, she is erotic but not in a provocative way, rather in a way that shows her self-assuredness. Mathias Conzelmann: “The main aspects are comfort and the aesthetics of lingerie as well as the good feeling of wearing something special. The customers of Nina von C. expect high-class products that are convenient and affordable, but are also decorative enough for special occasions. Nina von C. stands for ornamental design that is also adequate for daily use. For us, the most important thing is that our customers get an optimum of quality, fashion and best material, designed by our team of women designers led by Martina herself. By women, for women.”

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Four collections every year The designers are the creative heart of Nina von C. The women identify trends and develop ideas for their romantic lingerie styles – for the four collections the company launches every year. For the choice of colours and tones they simply keep their minds and eyes open: one year there will be light, pastel colours like lemon – a light, fresh yellow; light pink – a soft fuchsia tone, and blue. These colours are combined with a lot of white and ivory. The following year bright colours in lingerie may be much less in demand, and then the fashion series

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are combined with more subtle colours like white, ivory, caramel or black. Mathias Conzelmann explained “The designers travel a lot, mainly to London, Zurich, Milan and Paris, together with my sister Martina Bandte who is Head of Product Development. They spend the day running from shop to shop, absorbing the latest trends on the streets in Europe.”

A love for details In the Nina von C. collections the decorative aspect is important. The company’s designers love details. Comfort-to-the-skin is also

important: all the fabrics that the company uses, with the laces and embroideries, are soft and smooth. Lingerie must be very delicate and comfortable. Two of the fabrics being used are rayon and modal, both being very pleasant on the skin. As far as styling is concerned, some of the collections tend to be more like the opulent style French customers seem to prefer, while other collections cater for the German customers, who like it a bit less rococo. Mathias Conzelmann continued, “Here in Albstadt we create the design, develop the collections, do our own manufacturing and

carry out the finishing in cooperation with finishing-mills in the region. Also, almost all samples are produced in Albstadt.” Around 120 employees work for Karl Conzelmann GmbH & Co KG in Albstadt. Another 150 are employed at European production subsidiaries in Romania and Portugal. In Albstadt the majority of all the fabric used is produced. Around 50 huge tubular knitting machines rotate up to 45 times per minute. The finest, almost invisible threads made of selected, high-quality fibres are knitted by thousands of needles into delicate raw fabric. With each turn, row by row of the endless, fine fabric tube slowly evolves. Finerib, interlock and single jersey can be produced here. The company can also use different yarns in one fabric, e.g. spandex, micro-modal and rayon. Mathias Conzelmann: “We sell only fabrics that meet the strict German sustain-

ability label Oekotex. Quality and sustainability have always been an important factor for us. They have been classic Swabian virtues long before recent social and political discussions, and have been a leading motto for the company over three generations.”

Vision for the future The company expects to further grow its market share in the countries where it currently operates. Mathias Conzelmann concluded, “One can always find cheaper products somewhere else, but we are convinced that quality is the only strategy that can succeed in the long run. My family and our team of very dedicated women designers, together with our employees, have been able to prove that during the last 25 years, n with our brand line Nina von C.”

Established in 1980, Soulis-Kuehnis has grown to become one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high quality embroideries and is a pioneer of innovative production techniques such as digital printing on tulle to create the appearance of extremely fine embroidery. Soulis-Kuehnis is made up of the following departments: -Department of design and new product development -Department of digital design -Department of embroidery production -Finishing and dyeing department -Department of yarn production -Department of production of elastic and stable fabric for stinging Please visit our website to see a wide range of our embroidery samples – VARTHOLOMIO-Greece TEL:(+30) 26230-41788 - FAX :(+30) 26230-41901 - EMAIL:

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ARCTIC FORCE OF NATURE The Finnish cosmetic and skin care company Lumene Oy combines advanced technology with the power of natural Arctic ingredients to create successful products and positive business results.


he Nordic summer is short, intense and filled with extreme light and energy. During this brief season of midnight sun, after many months of freezing temperatures, arctic plants gather strength and energy with incredible speed. Lumene harnesses the power of these berries and plants into effective skincare and cosmetics. Many wild Scandinavian berries and plants are potent sources of antioxidants with proven benefits for skincare. Lumene’s aim is to use at least 80 per cent natural ingredients in the full product range, with some of the makeup products showing even higher percentage. The success of Lumene is based on these ingredients in combination with the latest technological innovations and the company’s strong pharmaceutical heritage.

Strong business results The company name comes from Lake Lummenne, a tranquil lake located in central Finland. Lumene’s cosmetics began in 1970 with the aim of providing women with beauty products that could meet the demands of the harsh northern climate. Today, the two main owners of Lumene are the private equity funds CapMan and Langholm, and the the number of employ106 Industry Europe

ees stands at about 530, 330 of whom work in Finland. 50 per cent of the company’s net sales are generated from its home market of Finland and 50 per cent from the international markets. Lumene’s main export markets are the other Scandinavian countries as well as the USA and Russia, where the company has subsidiaries. In Scandinavia, a partnership with Lindex, one of northern Europe’s leading fashion chains, brings Lumene products to over 200 department stores in Sweden and Norway. In the USA, Lumene’s skincare range is available nationwide from grocery chains such as CVS, Walgreens and Ultra. In Russia, Lumene products are sold in approximately 1500 shops around the country, for example through the perfume and cosmetics retailer Rive Gauche. In 2012, Lumene group’s net sales amounted to €90 million, which, compared to the previous year, represents a net sales increase of 6 per cent. The company’s EBITDA amounted to €13.7 million, which is 15 per cent of net sales.

Two brands, one success story The synergies across the skincare, colour cosmetics and professional haircare divisions mean that Lumene can bring a total pack-

age of beauty and wellbeing solutions to the market. The two key product brands are Lumene, skin care and natural make-up, and Cutrin, which is one of the leading professional hair brands in the Nordic countries. The Cutrin product range offers an extensive selection of innovative and high-quality products designed for hair care professionals. Colour cosmetics in the Lumene brand enjoy a high market presence right across ages, gender and skincare requirements. With skincare its best-selling area, Lumene offers six types, including Vitamin C+ for younger skin, Time Freeze for age 35 plus and Premium Beauty for older skin; this is penetrated with Arctic heather which is especially effective for skin experiencing hormonal changes. The Lumene Natural Code range has been developed especially for young skin. The 100 per cent Arctic plantain and plant-based formula fights against impurities and excess shine, keeping skin clean throughout the day. All Lumene and Cutrin products are developed and manufactured in Finland, but sold and marketed internationally. Both are characterised by their innovative product development practices, their use of unique, Arctic ingredients and their in-depth knowledge of the Nordic climate.

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Sustainable by nature


For Lumene, water is of special importance, not least because Arctic spring water is used as an ingredient in the products. In 2010, Lumene launched a new initiative with the objective of making more efficient use of water and highlighting the environmental importance of water resources. The company already has substantially reduced its water consumption through improved production methods and using modern technology. Lumene also cooperates with The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) in protecting Finland’s bogs and peatlands, improving water management and biodiversity. Respect for the environment is built into Lumene’s daily operations, through a system of environmental management that is certified to ISO 14001. The company does not use animal testing and favours recyclable materials, such as glass, paper and recyclable plastic, in its packaging.

There are strong signs from Lumene’s key markets indicating that there is a growing interest in natural ingredients and environmental awareness. Consumers today expect more from business in terms of sustainability, and by utilising the natural benefits of local plants and berries, and by helping to protect the environment, Lumene has undoubtedly created a strong brand for the future that resonates with customers. As a champion of natural ingredients and ecological sustainability Lumene is at the forefront of the current trend for ‘back to basics’ in cosmetics. There is a growing trend for mineral make-up across the cosmetics industry with selected partners coming on board across the USA and Latin America. There is a potential new market in Asia, where the brand is attracting interest, with Lumene currently assessing new sales avenues and prospective n partners in the region.

LEADING BY LISTENING The owner of some of India’s most recognised brands, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd is steadily increasing its presence worldwide. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to COO Rakesh Sinha to find out how this is being achieved.


one of the seven core business areas of the multi-billion dollar Godrej Group, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd is the market leader across India’s FMCG companies. Specialising in household products and personal care items, Godrej Consumer Products has branches throughout India and an increasing presence worldwide. The Godrej Group was founded in 1897 by inventor and commercial visionary Ardeshir Godrej who, along with his brother Pirojsha Godrej, created what was to become one of India’s most recognised and valued brands. The seven main companies within the Godrej Group encompass real estate, industrial engineering, domestic appliances, furniture, security, agri-care and Godrej Consumer Goods’ FMCG activities. Industry Europe 109

With an annual turnover that exceeds $3.3 billion, Godrej is a name that is present in practically all Indian households in some way. Even though the group is an integral part of Indian culture, it actually achieves more than 25 per cent of its revenue from outside the country, thanks to its increasing presence overseas and sales activities in over 60 countries worldwide. The COO of Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, Mr Rakesh Sinha, told Industry Europe how being part of the group supports its dayto-day operations, as well as its strategic longterm growth plans. He said, “The Godrej name stands for innovation and quality in India, so we are very proud to be part of such a successful group. We have the strength of the group behind us when it comes to investing in the latest technology, which enables us to maintain our market-leading position domestically and continue to advance our position on a global scale.”

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Listening to customers Godrej Consumer Products’ growth rate is largely attributed to the fact that it listens closely to its customers and quickly acts on their changing demands. The company owns some of India’s most valued household and personal care brands, including Good Knight, Cinthol, Expert and Snuggy, and is committed to ensuring that its entire offer stays relevant to its customer base. Mr Sinha explained, “Staying close to our customers and understanding the trends that are influencing their lives is incredibly important to us and we invest a great deal of time, money and resources in this area. We are continually fine-tuning our offer to guarantee that we are providing the right products at the right price.” Godrej Consumer Products gains this information through its constant contact with customers and relevant information. From

speaking to customers directly on the shop floor, where Godrej employees ask about how they are getting on with their products and what feedback they have, to talking to general customers in shopping centres and workplaces, the company is happy to listen to any customer’s views. It also invests in syndicated research and data on shopper and consumer habits, both in terms of trend forecasting and real-time data. It then combines all the information to come up with a set of findings that closely reflect the actual mood and demands of its customer base, and puts this to good use in the marketing and R&D departments. Mr Sinha pointed out, “This information consistently influences our product launches, our upcoming product development, the redesigns of our products and packaging and our advertising campaigns. We want our customers to know that we appreciate their feedback and that we always aim to offer products that perfectly suit their needs right now.”

Ready to grow With the rising level of young consumers in India having a major impact on the FMCG industry, Godrej Consumer Products is staying one step ahead of the trend but introducing youth-focused products that also meet the mega-trend of consumers of all ages wanting products that offer quality and value. This is seen in various groups demanding products that are either premium quality at a sensible yet higher price, or cheaper price points that still deliver on quality. The coming years will see Godrej Consumer Products expanding its global activities beyond its current markets in Asia, with the plan to focus on countries that have similar psychology and consumer behaviour as the Indian market – namely Latin America and Africa – where it can utilise the wider network of the Godrej Group for targeted success. The company also expanded its activities in the UK when in December 2012 its UK subsidiary, Keyline Brands Ltd, acquired the Soft & Gentle brand from Colgate-Palmolive. This is the UK’s fourth largest female deodorant brand and retains strong brand equity with retailers and consumers in the UK. At the time of the acquisition, Godrej Chairman Adi Godrej said: “The acquisition of Soft & Gentle by Keyline Brands will add profitable scale to our UK business. Over the last few years, Keyline Brands has delivered good performance and grown in double digits in a very tough market environment that is n witnessing little to no growth.” Industry Europe 111


AND GAS INDUSTRY GE Oil & Gas (Nuovo Pignone) has experienced outstanding growth since 1994, when Italian company Nuovo Pignone was acquired by American multinational General Electric. Since then the Oil & Gas division has become increasingly important for the American giant, as Barbara Rossi learns.


eneral Electric, set up in 1878 by Thomas A. Edison, is today a multinational company operating in a wide range of sectors, ranging from energy to financial services, medical diagnostics imagery, aero engines, television programmes and plastic materials. Its aim is that of producing technologically innovative solutions to solve the most complex problems encountered in daily life, and in this endeavour the group operates in 100 countries, employing 300,000 people. GE has been present in Italy since 1992, where it operates through four macro-divisions, with 15 sites and 7000 employees, and has invested €70 million in R&D in the country. Nuovo Pignone also has a long history, as it was established in Florence in 1842 as a cast-iron foundry, called Pignone. In the early 1900s it started producing reciprocat-

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ing compressors and engines. After experiencing a difficult patch over the World War II period, the company was acquired by ENI and became Nuovo Pignone. Finally there was the GE takeover in the 1990s, which led to a very successful future. The global headquarters of GE Oil & Gas (Nuovo Pignone) are in Florence, Italy. This is a clear sign of the importance that Nuovo Pignone has in the Oil & Gas division of General Electric. In fact, Nuovo Pignone is at the head of the GE division, accounting for about 80 per cent of total business turnover.

When, in 1994, GE acquired Nuovo Pignone, an Italian leader in the production of turbines and compressors for the oil and gas industry – GE acquired an 80 per cent stake at the time, increased to 100 per cent in the following years. The group was not a specialist in oil and gas, but from 1998 the American multinational initiated a campaign of acquisitions in the sector, purchasing companies in France, the UK and the USA, thus creating a completely new oil and gas business division centred round Nuovo Pignone and bearing the name of GE Oil and Gas.

The decision to acquire Nuovo Pignone was a winning choice for both parties, first because Nuovo Pignone was already a GE supplier and also because Nuovo Pignone has enjoyed a series of advantages due to becoming part of the GE group: being able to offer a complete range of products and services, having greater visibility and gaining access to the wide range of talent and technologies present in the group itself. Since the 1994 takeover the oil and gas turnover has grown tenfold, reaching €10 million in 2011, while the number of employees has seen a

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Im pi a nti Industr i al i L.A.Z. S.p.A. is specialised in the prefabrication of piping in carbon steel, Cr, Ni and Mo stainless steels, metal structural work and supports. Routine/ extraordinary maintenance of industrial systems in general. Constructional and assembly of vessels. Assembly of industrial systems (piping, structural work, equipment and machinery). Construction and laying of pipelines (water, methane, oil). Activities: • engineering studies • systems and equipment for the oil, coal and natural gas industries Products: • chemical plant building • oil pipelines • pipes for water systems Services: • assembly of industrial systems • industrial system design • routine and extraordinary maintenance of industrial systems

• prefabrication of piping/tubing for the petrochemical sector • systems, machinery and equipment for the chemicals industry • methane pipelines • pipes for gas pipelines • water pipelines • industrial assemblies • pipe laying

LAZ S.p.A. Impianti Industriali Via Cavour, 15/17 26858 Sordio (Lodi) Italy

15 per cent increase, tallying 4500 people at the end of the same year. This division is today a global leader supplying advanced products, services and complete solutions to the oil and gas industry, starting from the well-head to the refining and related petrochemical and plastic industries. The division supplies all the major oil multinationals, as well as state-owned companies in different countries. GE Oil & Gas operates in various countries, following the markets of its customers, including former Soviet states, African countries, North America, China and India, as well as European countries.

Towards a very bright future The future of the oil and gas division is very promising. In fact, considering the importance that shale gas will have as an energy source in years to come, both in the USA and in other regions, GE Oil and Gas to lead the shale gas revolution is a winning asset. Moreover, thanks to its innovative products, the division has identified a real potential for supplying gas turbines in Africa. Oil & Gas is in fact the fastest growing business of the group, with revenues of $15 billion and earnings growing at 16 per cent. 114 Industry Europe

Furthermore, GE Oil and Gas shares the same focus on R&D as the rest of GE, which is the seventh most valuable company in the world. Investing in both capability and people, continuously developing cutting-edge products, the division will launch 10 new gas turbines during this decade, significantly

Tel.: +39.02.98264262 Fax: +39.02.9810409 E-mail:

more than it ever did in the past. In addition to this, it has launched the first subsea compressor, creating an industry-leading position. There are electric submersible pumps (ESPs) to extract oil from mature fields, a technology which GE is further enhancing and which is currently able to operate at a depth of up to

12,000 feet and at temperatures up to 230˚C. The division also supplies the AGP system (Flex Efficiency Advantage/Advanced Gas Path), offering improvement of gas turbine output by up to 4.8 per cent, reducing fuel consumption by 1 per cent and lessening the environmental impact. In Italy, specifically in Avenza, GE Oil & Gas manufactures industrial modules and pre-assembled units, designed in-house, which are then supplied to customers all over the world. These are turnkey power generation and compression solutions to increase efficiency, reliability and power in restrictive areas. They are particularly important because new reservoirs are usually in remote locations, often with environmental restrictions and extreme climates. The modules are delivered to customers fully connected and wired and offer benefits in terms of a small footprint, high power-to-weight ratio and the ability to increase productivity n levels quickly and significantly. 116 Industry Europe

EUROPEAN POWER PLAYER Alstom Power in Croatia has been continuously investing in new production capacity and technology. The group’s activities in Croatia are related to the thermal sector in order to support the country’s power generation equipment sector.


lstom has two sites in Croatia: its sales offices are based in Zagreb whilst manufacturing, engineering and R&D all take place in Karlovac. As part of the global Alstom Group it offers gas & steam turbine components, ST blades, GT hot gas components, exhaust housings, exhaust diffusers, turbine and compressor vane carriers, ST inner casings components and GT compressor blades. Over 190 mechanical engineers work within its Engineering centre on international R&D activities in the field of mechanical equipment (steam & gas design, reconditioning, quality control, field assessments etc.) and electrical equipment. Since 1949, Alstom Croatia has sold 239 steam turbines to clients throughout the world.

Some recent projects for Alstom Croatia have included the upgrade of the HE Dubrovnik hydro power plant, involving the installation of major hydro mechanical equipment. Last year it was also involved in the revitalisation and modernisation of the turbine generator set for the Tuzla thermal power plant.

Continuous growth Between 2001 and 2003, Alstom Croatia went through a period of successful restructuring. This involved an expansion of its workforce to deal with a rise in demand and it invested €7 million in its production centre at Karlovac. Since then, the company has continued to build on those firm foundations and has seen positive growth despite the global financial situation over the past few years.

A key development in 2007 was the expansion of the business with the acquisition of Croatian company Turboteh, a Karlovac-based manufacturer of spare parts for steam turbines, compressors and pumps. At the same time, the company continued to invest in its own operations, with the modernisation of its factory in Karlovac. The biggest investments in recent years have been in new machines for turning and milling turbine stator components (gas casing, blade carriers etc). And there have been other investments, aimed at increasing capacity and quality in blade production, involving investment in new equipment and machines to speed up production times. The service portfolio was also expanded at the same time, so that it now includes

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component reconditioning. This function – aiming to extend the lifespan of components – includes repair, adjustment and rehabilitation, and has involved substantial investment in new equipment, as well as the company having to rearrange its existing space to allow for a new workshop. Although the company is expanding its own business, group level projects still make up almost 85 per cent of its business. Synergy with other group companies is high, particularly in the engineering business. Its engineers provide direct support to Alstom’s leading engineering centres in Switzerland and Germany.

producing compressor blades and vanes for gas turbines; producing and reconditioning hot gas parts; and providing machining, locksmith and welding activities within the region. All its investments, past and present, have been with that aim in mind. The strategic goal for Alstom Croatia is to become the main and leading service provider for all power plants in its allocated market. To achieve this goal, it relies upon ongoing sup-

port from specialised companies within the group, responsible for other products. Less easy to predict are the long term effects of the current global economic crisis, but the company’s management has not seen any major problems for this particular industry sector. In fact, despite the unstable market situation, its region within the power service sector is still in a phase of growth, n with rising sales.

Moving forward For the future, the major customer will continue to be the Alstom Group. But there have been some trends over the past few years that will no doubt see the focus shift a little. The need for modernisation in the energy sector, for example, is growing every day, and the company has seen its sales volumes move slowly but surely in that direction as well. In general terms, the plan is to move into more complex products and projects. It is aiming for a growth of at least 10–15 per cent each year. At the same time, Alstom Croatia intends to stay in its current business and keep

Đuro Đaković Proizvodnja opreme is a member of Đuro Đaković group specialised in the production of: • Mill cylinders and rotary kilns for mining industry • Columns, reactors, vessels and heat exchangers for petrochemical and oil industry • other heavy steel structures Đuro Đaković Proizvodnja opreme d.o.o. Dr. Mile Budaka 1, 35 000 Slavonski Brod, Croatia Tel: +385 35 218 403 Fax: +385 35 218 422


FAST-FLOWING TECHNOLOGY Logstor is a Danish company and a global leader in the field of pre-insulated pipe systems for both the private and public sectors. Increasing global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) has led to new, innovative pipe systems being developed by the company.


August 2005 Logstor Ror merged with Alstom Power Flow Systems to form Logstor A/S, and overnight the company became the world’s leading manufacturer of pre-insulated pipe systems for the transportation of oil and gas, and for district heating and cooling, as well as for marine and industrial purposes. Logstor AS has its headquarters located in Logstor, Denmark, and production facilities throughout Europe. In addition, the company has dedicated distributors in 30 countries, as well as having dedicated joint-venture companies in Korea and China. The private equity company Montagu Private Equity owns the majority of Logstor AS.

Global focus During the past few years, the oil and gas industries have seen major changes in levels of demand and their pricing structures. These evolving market forces have created new growth opportunities for Logstor, as a company representative explained: “Until just a few years ago, our main focus was on the growing demand for district heating and cooling systems in northern Europe, as well as the design and installation of pre-insulated pipe systems for marine applications. Today it is a very different story. We have developed our core competences in pre-insulated pipe systems to take advantage of the global opportunities in the transportation of oil and gas. “In particular, we have overcome the problems of transportation of liquefied natural gas, which presents major challenges to producers due to the very low temperatures involved of around -180 degrees Celsius, encountered in the transportation process. After many years of research and rigorous testing procedures we are now able to safely transport LNG from

both on and offshore sites to anywhere in the world. As a result of this breakthrough in pipe system technology, we have moved from a pan-European focus to a global one and have already established facilities in the Middle East, the Far East and South America. “In a separate business sector, we are also moving ahead with strong interest being shown in our district cooling systems. This interest is from markets in hot countries, such as the Far East and the Middle East and we will also be marketing these energy-saving systems in the USA eventually. Our current challenge is to control our production capability and the risks associated with moving volatile oils and gases over long distances. We are recruiting skilled pipe-layers and fitters internationally, and will only employ people who can prove that they can meet the same high standards that we demand from our existing employees. “As the price of crude oil and LNG continues to rise due to increased global demand, transportation from existing and new fields

also increases, and so we see this as a long-term opportunity for us. For example, in Canada they have discovered the second largest reservoir of oil in the world, known as the Suncor oil field. In the years to come, the USA will source its oil from Canada and not the Middle East. In the future, crude oil from the Suncor field will rely on its international transportation from pre-insulated pipelines developed by Logstor. “Yet another Logstor R&D breakthrough has opened up the solar energy industry to us. At Logstor we have developed the world’s first integrated solar pipeline systems, and these new systems are currently being introduced into Spain, where solar heating and piping systems are leading the way forward in reducing global warming there.”

District heating gaining ground District heating and cooling have been operating in the Nordic countries for many years. However, it is only since pressure has been building to move towards more environ-

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mentally friendly systems that the rest of the world has taken an interest in district heating and cooling. District heating systems use media at temperatures of between 0°C and 140°C with typical media transported being heating water and steam. This system can also be used for other types of media, and carriers consist of polyurethane pipes with unique insulation properties, which in turn guarantee low operational costs. District cooling systems are also gaining ground as the planet warms up and summer temperatures rise. The traditional use of air conditioning systems is now being replaced by district cooling systems, as AC installations do not offer such environmentally friendly solutions. The Middle Eastern countries and South America are showing particular interest in Logstor’s district cooling systems.

Continuous improvement Logstor has developed a pre-insulated pipe manufacturing system known as the ‘continuous production system’. In the traditional

production method, lengths of pipe are manufactured individually. The carrier pipe is fitted with spacers and then inserted in the polyethylene (HDPE) jacket pipe. The foaming liquid is then injected into the cavities between the carrier pipe and the outer pipe, where the foam expands. However, this method is highly demanding with respect to the viscosity of the foaming liquid, since expansion is required along the entire length of the pipe from one end to another. In the advanced ‘continuous production’ process, the pipes are manufactured continuously in an unbroken length instead of being produced individually. The carrier pipes enter the production units horizontally and are joined to form a long, unbroken line. The continuous method uses less foam to give insulation that offers significantly improved characteristics and handling properties, when compared to traditional production methods. Logstor has also perfected the ‘axial process’ for manufacturing pre-insulated piping, where pipes are insulated continuously in a travelling mould, and where the PUR mate-

rial flows around the pipe. The moulded foam-insulated carrier pipe then continues through an extruder, where the HDPE jacket is applied. In the spiral process, the PUR foam is sprayed directly onto the pipes while the pipes rotate around their own axis when passing through the production units.

Growing demand for marine applications Logstor’s diverse range of pre-insulated pipes includes systems for marine applications. The company has developed a unique approach to the design and installation of pre-insulated pipe systems for marine applications. This approach can be applied to new-build shipping as well as to retrofitting on existing vessels. The advantages of its pre-insulated pipe systems are even more apparent for above-deck piping systems. The combination of salt-water-wave impact, high winds, driving rain, heat, extreme cold and human traffic across the pipes, makes Logstor’s preinsulated pipes the ideal solution, as they are n impervious to all extreme elements.


FOR ENERGY Rafako SA, a company based in Raciborz, Poland, is the largest European manufacturer of boilers. It also offers complete power generation units including units for supercritical steam parameters. The company offers design and manufacturing of a wide range of boilers, including PC boilers and fluidized bed boilers.

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stablished in 1949, Rafako SA has always served the power generation industry offering design and manufacture of boilers and environment protection plants. Since 1993 Rafako SA has been a joint stock company whose shares are quoted on the Warsaw stock exchange. The company is a leader in Poland’s power generation equipment market and the biggest boiler producer in Europe. It is based in Raciborz, where its headquarters and main production facilities include five production workshops and design offices. During the past few years

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new production workshops in Radomsko and Wyry have been established as well as design offices in Rybnik, Czestochowa and Belgrade. In 2009 a new division was created in Pszczyna, offering design and delivery of dust removal equipment.

Wide range of products and services Rafako offers general contracting within the scope of fossil-fired power generation units, boiler islands in particular, including PC boilers for sub- and supercritical steam parameters, CFB boilers, HRSG and stoker-fired boilers as

well as flue gas cleaning plants and equipment. The company also offers boilers for waste incineration and biomass combustion. Up to 80 per cent of the boilers operated by Polish utilities have been been delivered by Rafako. The company is also a leader within the field of flue gas desulfurisation plants based on wet lime and semi-dry methods. Rafako SA is the largest European manufacturer of boilers and environmental protection equipment for the power industry. It offers complete power generation units fired with coal, oil, gas or biomass and

based on various boiler systems including sub- and supercritical PC boilers, CFB boilers and stoker fired boilers. Rafako is able to design and deliver equipment and plants for so called ‘boiler islands’ including boiler and flue gas cleaning systems. Moreover, for years it has provided boilers for thermal treatment of waste, biomass combustion and heat recovery steam generators. This offer is complemented by a variety of maintenance services, from diagnosis through repairs, maintenance, supply of spare parts to the comprehensive modernisation of boilers and associated equipment. In the field of environmental protection the company designs, manufactures and implements turnkey flue gas desulfurisation systems, systems to reduce nitrogen oxides and dust extraction equipment. Furthermore, Rafako SA is a leading global manufacturer of boiler components. FPM SA, a company from Mikolow, which belongs to the Rafako group, makes mill installations and chain grate stokers, while a new division in Pszczyna offers complete dust collection equipment, including highperformance electrostatic precipitators.

The leader in Poland and in Europe Rafako SA employs more than 2000 people. Net revenues from sales of products, goods and materials reached in 2011 a level of more then €270 million. Net profit for the period was estimated as €14.4 million. After three quarters of 2012 (latest available data) the company’s sales reached €190 million, and net profit – nearly €4.4 million. 126 Industry Europe

The company has supplied boilers for almost all domestic power plants, and hundreds of units in the energy industry in Poland. It has references from a number of countries in Europe and Asia, including China, Turkey, India, Yugoslavia, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Scandinavia. The turn of 2013 is an intense period of activity for Rafako SA. In December 2012, a consortium of Rafako and PBG signed a contract with EDF worth net €188 million for implementation of the flue gas desulphurisation in power plants in Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk and Gdynia. These installations will operate with the Rafako flue gas desulphurisation technology, and completion of the order is scheduled for 2015. At the beginning of March, 2013 the company signed a contract worth €54 million with Mostostal Warszawa for the construction of the boiler island for the Department of Waste Management in Szczecin. Under the agreement, Rafako SA will supply all the technological parts of the project, from the burning grate, boiler, through the exhaust gas cleaning system for desulfurisation and denitrification dust. Also in March, Rafako SA signed a contract with Enea for the replacement of electrostatic filters on block No. 8. The contract net value is €6.44 million.

Fuelled by its partners’ strength The recognition which the company enjoys in Poland and all over the world is not only a result of the years of experience. It is also the result of selecting the most valuable partners for the tasks that Rafako SA is to accomplish. ELWRO-SYSTEM of Wroclaw, Poland is one such reliable partner of Rafako S.A. The essential group of the ELWRO-SYSTEM engineering staff has derived from the former ELWRO Electronic Plant’s Department of Automation in Wroclaw (manufacturer of equipment and systems for automation). It has more than 40 years of experience in the design, production, programming and implementation of systems for industrial process control and telemetry systems in the automation and electrical industry. Multiserwis of Krapkowice, is another excellent example of cooperation with Rafako SA Multiserwis specialises in insulation techniques for power, chemical, oil, cement, food and building industry. The company is part of Bilfinger, one of the largest companies operating in the field of industry service. The implementation of contracts between RAFAKO – KOTTEX / DAUME is very highly rated, including with far reaching satisfaction on the side of RAFAKO and the Investor. DAUME, the manufacturer of control valves with headquarters in Germany, is very actively

and professionally represented by its sole distributor on the Polish market, the company KOTTEX, operating since 1990. Control valves designated for specialist applications and including more strategic use is aimed at the energy industry:Power plants, power stations, waste incineration plants, boilers for biomass. It is important to note that the largest customer for control valves in Poland is RAFAKO Racibórz. Only in the recent period, from 2012 up till now, a complete boiler control valve system has been supplied for new investments carried out by RAFAKO: are Jaworzno Power Plant, Połaniec Power Plant, Roskilde (Denmark) Project, Cleveland (UK) Project, India Project.

Ambitious plans Strategic goals of Rafako SA for the coming years include strengthening its position as general supplier of power plants for complete power generation units, or so-called boiler islands, including supercritical technology based on the company’s know-how; complete installation of municipal waste incineration; complete installation of flue gas desulphurisation by the wet, semi-dry and dry technology; installations of catalytic denitrification, and the modernisation of boilers and power equipment. The other long-term goal of Rafako SA is to strengthen its market position in the supply of conventional fuel-fired boilers (coal, lignite, oil, gas) and in the supply of power equipment, such as rotary air heaters and coal mills and of pressure components for supercritical boilers and other boilers. Rafako SA also intends to take part in the construction of nuclear power plants, particularly through the supply of n pressure equipment. Industry Europe 127

IMAGINE THE ENERGY Gehrlicher Solar AG plans, builds, finances, and operates photovoltaic systems. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at the company, which is seeing international growth for its photovoltaics business.


Gehrlicher Solar AG, internationalisation is one of the cornerstones for the future in photovoltaics. The company, which was founded in 1994, has seen steady international growth in recent years, as it has spread its operation beyond Germany to set up subsidiaries and joint ventures in Brazil, France, the UK, India, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Turkey and the USA. “Gehrlicher Solar employs around 250 people worldwide and generated a total of €323 million in sales in fiscal year 2011,” explains senior global marketing manager Ms Seifried. 128 Industry Europe

“In fact, in the last few years we have been expanding and still are expanding in other countries and markets worldwide. So internationalisation is one of the keywords. But in the future, PV has to become competitive without feed-in tariffs worldwide.”

Internally developed innovative systems The company, which was founded in 1994 remains a family business, develops, plans, builds, finances and operates solar power systems. It is still managed by its founder,

Klaus Gehrlicher, who is widely considered one of the pioneers of the German photovoltaic industry. In 1998, he initiated Solarpark 2000, the first Community Equity Solar Fund, and, as CEO, he takes responsibility for all developments of the company. Today, Gehrlicher Solar’s products include everything from photovoltaic systems suitable for private homes up to multi-megawatt systems that can be mounted on the ground or on roofs. Alongside traditional systems for roof-top and ground-mounted systems, the

GehrTec® range also includes solutions that can be integrated into the roofs or facades of buildings. The company also offers an efficient pre-assembled cable system for photovoltaic systems and its in-house research and development department ensures the creation of new and innovative system components on an ongoing basis. “Gehrlicher Solar AG distributes solar modules and inverters as well as components from its own GehrTec® product range,” says Ms Seifried. “It also plans, sets up and manages profit-oriented photovoltaic funds and private placement systems for private and institutional investors Moreover, Gehrlicher Solar is responsible for the operations and maintenance of more than 350MW and thus secures longterm values and return on investments.” Industry Europe 129

New project in Spain without any kind of subsidies Gehrlicher Solar AG, whose client base ranges from end customers, farmers, business customers to solar power funds and different types of private and institutional investors, has 13 branch offices. These are in Germany, Spain, Italy, England, France, the Czech Republic, Romania and the USA as well as joint ventures in India, South Africa, Brazil and Turkey.

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“The administrative centre of our company is located in Dornach, near Munich,” she explains. “The company’s registered office is in Neustadt, near Coburg.” It was in March 2012 that Gehrlicher Solar España signed an agreement with the government of Extremadura for the construction of a 250 MW solar PV plant, in the municipality of Talavan, Cáceres. Since all the energy produced will compete in the electricity market on an equal footing to

conventional energies, this project marks a historic breakthrough in the field of photovoltaic energy. It also offers a considerable potential for the PV market.

Optimistic about competition Gehrlicher Solar has been working for over a year and a half to realise the project and hopes to start its construction at the beginning of 2014. The plant will cover an extent of 750 hectares and will involve an investment

estimated at €250 million and the creation of more than 2000 jobs. The generation of electricity is estimated at 400,000 MWH per year and will allow the plant to supply clean energy to 100,000 households and present a saving of about 356,000 tones of CO2. Guillermo Barea, CEO of Gehrlicher Solar España, says: “I want to convey to the entire PV industry, not only in Spain but also in Europe, a message of optimism and that the sector can be competitive in the electricity market without subsidies. The government support of Extremadura, our strategic capacity and the effort of my team are pushing this project to be viable in economic, technical and environmental terms. “We must join forces to place our country in a leading position again in the global PV industry.”

Remaining focused Both Mr Barea and Ms Seifried agree that megaprojects along with self consumption are the future of the photovoltaics business and also the two main business segments on which Gehrlicher Solar remains focused. The company will continue to execute numerous projects around the globe and in doing so will take into account special regional characteristics of each location, allowing it to develop flexible solutions that meet specific requirements optimally. Ms Seifried adds: “The most important factors for success in the PV business are to reach grid parity and to focus on electricity storage and grid integration. After all, the above mentioned factors have to be considered after the cost cutting factors in order to n be profitable.”

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INCREASING EFFICIENCY The Hamon Group is a global leader in engineering, contracting and project management for cooling systems, heat exchangers and pollution control. Industry Europe looks at the impressive growth of this international group and its pioneering contribution to waste heat recovery and cooling systems for some of the world’s largest powerplant projects.


he Hamon Group is based in Mont-StGuibert, Belgium and is a global leader in the field of engineering, contracting, design and project management. The company’s diverse activities include the design and manufacture of critical components, as well as the installation and after-sales servicing of cooling systems, process heat exchangers, air pollution controls and industrial chimneys employed in power generation projects. This market sector includes oil and gas installations, as well as other heavy industries such as metallurgy, glass and chemicals. The Hamon Group is committed to the sustainable development of its processes

and manufacturing activities, as well as to providing its customers with innovative systems and cutting-edge technology at the most competitive prices. The Hamon Group is divided into five distinct business units: Cooling Systems, Heat Exchangers, Air Pollution Control and Industrial Chimneys.

Advanced, power-saving cooling towers Back in the early 1980s many of the world’s large power plants were equipped with tall natural draft cooling towers (NDCTs). At that time they were wrongly associated with nuclear power plants and very few were constructed in the west because of

the lack of large power plant projects and obvious visual impact constraints. However, this trend is now reversing due to the significant power saving that modern NDCTs can generate. In addition to the benefits of power saving, NDCTs offer silent operation as there are no cooling fans employed, and offer greatly reduced maintenance costs. Furthermore, they are compact and provide greater operational longevity, often much longer than plant life expectancy. Hamon has designed and built more than 300 NDCTs worldwide and has unparalleled expertise in this field. This includes specialised installation projects in hazardous and seismic risk areas as well as in locations

exposed to severe weather conditions. Hamon is also committed to offering the most cost-effective solutions for the entire lifetime of field-erected cooling towers and has a wide range of heat transfer media suitable for any industrial water and seawater installations, as well as those requiring low pH solutions.

Recent project In December 2012, Hamon was awarded a 25 million USD order for a fan assisted natural draft cooling tower by Daelim Korea, in the frame of its EPC project Saudi Elastomers for Sabic Kemya. As part of the utility facilities of the new petrochemical plant, a

Hamon seawater cooling tower will serve the process with cold water. Hamon’s scope of operations within the project includes engineering (thermal, structural, mechanical, hydraulic and civil), delivery FOB, cathodic protection, construction, installation and commissioning. The new contract represents a milestone for the company in its Middle Eastern growth strategy. Thanks to the Hamon Group’s ranking as a leading world-class supplier of dry cooling systems, the company recently received one of the biggest orders tendered for in the power generating sector. This involves the supply of 10 lines of air-cooled condensers (ACCs) for the prestigious PP10 Power

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project in Saudi Arabia, which will increase its power capacity by 40GW over the next ten years.

Milestone agreements signed in China Towards the end of 2011, the Belgian Economic mission to China took place, and this was led by HRH Prince Philippe, where two signing ceremonies were inaugurated involving Hamon Thermal Europe. At this significant signing, Hamon entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (CNPE). This confirmed the Hamon Group’s cooperation in the construction of a series of large, natural draft cooling towers for China’s latest nuclear power plants.

During the formal meeting, Hamon and China Nuclear Power Engineering agreed to cooperate on the design and implementation of the super-large cooling towers for the Hue Xianning nuclear power plant. These towers were conceived to maximise power plant efficiency and to contribute to the protection of the wildlife on the river by avoiding the warming of its waters. These Hamon Group Towers will set a new world record, being the largest natural draft cooling towers ever constructed.

New acquisition boosts growth prospects In 2011, the Hamon Group completed its acquisition of Deltak, a global leader in the design and construction of waste and heat recovery solutions, as well as heat recovery steam generators for the power and process industries. Since it was founded in 1972, Deltak has developed a portfolio of blue-chip clients that rely on its innovative solutions to meet their energy needs.

This acquisition created significant added value for the Hamon group, which is already recognised as a world-leading supplier of cooling systems. Synergies between the two companies are being fully exploited as the Deltak customer base is the same as that of the Hamon Group. Furthermore, the acquisition has allowed the group to become more active in the combined gas-fired generation, cycle-power industry, which is expected to see substantial growth in the years to come. n


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Hydra Tech, based in the Danish town of Vrå, is a world-class manufacturer of custom hydraulic cylinders. The company has a large engineering and design department and produces cylinders for the offshore and marine industries. Industry Europe looks at the company’s activities and the reasons behind its success.


ydra Tech has been making hydraulic cylinders since the 1970s. In the beginning, the focus was on cylinders for cranes and forestry equipment. Today, Hydra Tech makes hydraulic cylinders for various applications including mining equipment, steel mills and lock gates. In 1989, Hydra Tech began to produce hydraulic cylinders for the offshore and marine industries, and these industries are now the company’s main customers. “Essentially, hydraulic cylinders help you move something that is difficult to lift,” said the company. “They also allow you to automate processes. For the offshore industry, we produce hydraulic cylinders for cranes, as well as drilling cylinders for rigs and platforms.”

On ships, Hydra Tech’s cylinders are used in hatch covers and marine cranes. In the offshore environment hydraulic cylinders must be capable of withstanding extreme conditions, so Hydra Tech treats quality and safety as top priorities. “In the offshore industry, the cost of a breakdown can be devastating. Quality of work and traceability of materials is a basic requirement.” All Hydra Tech’s production sites are certified to the international quality management standard, ISO 9001:2008. The company works with a number of regulatory certification agencies, including DNV, Bureau Veritas, ABS and Lloyds Register, to ensure the necessary safeguards are in place and that all cylinders meet the appropriate standards for durability.

Acquisitions Hydra Tech’s main factory is at Vrå, in the north of Jutland. This factory has its own testing centre. Every product is extensively tested to make sure that the system will be reliable and live up to the customer’s expectations. Hydra Tech also has factories in China and the USA. The company set up its factory in China, at Suzhou, in 2003. It moved into the USA in

2010 when it acquired an American firm, CRC Manufacturing. “We bought our factory in Alabama in order to obtain a service point near the Gulf of Mexico. We wanted to have a local presence for trading with our American customers,” added the company representative. At the beginning of 2011, Hydra Tech made another acquisition, taking over the Danish company, AVN Energy, whose main

factory is in Silkeborg. AVN Energy is one of the leading suppliers of hydraulic systems to the global wind turbine industry. In India, AVN Energy has a factory in Bangalore, which makes components for the Indian wind power industry. There is a big market in India for wind turbines, and Indian companies are now establishing themselves in the global market.

Pitch systems Hydra Tech has already built up extensive expertise in offshore energy, so expanding into the wind turbine industry makes sense. European countries are eager to explore the potential of renewable energy, and it aims to realise the opportunities available in this rapidly developing field. For Hyra Tech, engagement in the wind power market is a key business objective. The market has a growth rate of around 10 per cent per annum, and this level of growth is unlikely to stop. Hydraulic cylinders play a vital role in a modern wind turbine by controlling the turbine’s pitch. A pitch system increases the efficiency of a wind turbine by positioning the blades at the correct angle to the wind. Hydraulic pitch systems also have a fail-safe function. In severe weather and extreme wind speeds, they will turn the blades out of the wind, thereby minimising the risk of accidents or structural failure.

AVN Energy has more than 25 years of experience in wind power. With a 1600m2 research and development centre, it supplies custom-made hydraulic systems to wind turbine manufacturers worldwide. The merger with Hydra Tech has enhanced AVN Energy’s capacity to supply its innovative technology to customers around the world.

Favourable trends The merger has also enabled Hydra Tech to achieve synergies. In Denmark, production of the hydraulic cylinders is being concentrated at the Vrå site, allowing the AVN Energy factory to the south in Silkeborg to focus on the other elements of the pitch systems as well as on turbine cooling technology. Hydra Tech is heavily oriented towards export and can take advantage of favourable trends in both wind power and the offshore sector. According to the company: “The marine market is a bit saturated right now, but

there is a lot of optimism in offshore because high oil prices are stimulating investment in deepwater equipment. Governments are turning to renewable energy as a way to realise their ambitions for lowering CO2 emissions, and this is one factor behind the growth in renewable energy.” In addition, Hydra Tech has been looking for openings in South America, where the wind power sector could represent a promising new market for the company. n


Agrana is the leading sugar manufacturer in central and eastern Europe. Joseph Altham reports on the company’s activities in Romania, where Agrana produces the country’s best-known brands of sugar and has recently launched a new product. WWW.AGRANA.RO


grana is a powerful player in the food sector. The Austrian headquartered company employs around 8000 people, and sugar production is only one of its activities. It also makes bioethanol and starch and is a highly successful manufacturer of fruit preparations for ice cream and yoghurt, and fruit concentrate. The sugar that Agrana makes is sold directly to consumers and is also supplied to manufacturers of soft drinks and confectionery. In the European Union, Agrana has a total of nine sugar production plants, three of which are located in Romania. Agrana’s plant in Buzau refines around 1000 tonnes of raw sugar per day. Agrana has another sugar refinery in Roman, in the northeast of the country. Both plants process raw cane sugar that is sourced from outside Europe and transported to Romania by sea. In addition,

the site at Roman refines sugar beet – more than 4000 tonnes per day. This sugar beet is sourced from thousands of local farmers in eastern Romania. According to the CEO of Agrana Romania, Gabriela Petrea, in Romania, sugar is the most important business area for the company. “The production and marketing of sugar continue to be our main activity, and Agrana Romania has been the market leader in this sector for almost a decade.”

Brands Agrana Romania produces sugar both for industrial customers and for individual consumers. “We have all the major industrial clients in our portfolio,” stated Mrs Petrea. “It is an honour for us to have these valuable relationships, which oblige us to provide the best products and services at all times.” In the consumer market, Agrana is the company

behind Romania’s most popular brands of sugar, Margaritar and Coronita. Margaritar, a premium product, is sold in a wide range of formats, including cubes, sugar crystals, sachets and sticks, while Coronita is addressing the average end-consumer, for sweetening and preserving foods. These brands can be found in shops in small towns and villages throughout Romania. However, as the Romanian economy develops, the retail sector is changing. “Little by little, modern retail firms are replacing traditional retail, moving closer to where the customer lives and expanding their convenience outlets.” As Mrs Petrea explained, Agrana Romania’s product portfolio compares with what is on offer anywhere else in the European Union. At the same time, the recession has set limits to what is realistically achievable in Romania right now. “There is still some way

to go before a complete alignment of products. The trend in this direction was held back a bit by the effect of the economic crisis, which reduced the market’s purchasing power.” The uncertainty has not prevented Agrana from bringing out an attractively packaged new product under the Margaritar brand. As the name suggests, Margaritar Mauritius is made from sugar cane grown in Mauritius. It is a semi-refined brown sugar, adding to its nutritional value. “This product is targeted towards people who are looking for a high quality ingredient to add to drinks and is offered in all the modern formats: a 0.5 kg carton and a Tetra Pak system, as well as sachets and sticks.”

Improving agricultural techniques Mrs Petrea does not hide the fact that the Romanian economy is experiencing difficulties. What counts is that Agrana Romania has managed to stay afloat in spite of these problems. “Agrana has kept the production units running at Roman and Buzau, despite the very competitive market.” The Agrana factory in Roman gets its sugar beet by drawing up contracts with farmers in eastern Romania, and the company has put a lot of effort into boosting its beet supplies. Agrana Romania

works in close cooperation with the farmers, offering them expert advice on ways to improve the condition of the soil and to achieve higher crop yields. “Agrana has invested large amounts of money in providing information and agricultural equipment to farmers. In this way, they have been persuaded to take part in supplying our beet crop and throughout northeastern Romania better farming methods have become more widely understood. In the end, we succeeded in securing contracts for over 55 per cent of Romania’s beet acreage.”

A quality service Romania suffered a drought in 2012 but Agrana’s forward planning protected the company from the impact. “Our policy proved to be the right one and we were able to achieve our required quota production and even to obtain a surplus.” Agrana Romania has also been making improvements to its production sites. “We have invested in energy-saving measures at the Roman and Buzau production units, and new packaging lines are about to be

installed and put into operation in Buzau.” Logistics have also been made more efficient both in Buzau and at the Agrana Romania warehouse in Bucharest. Yet in the final analysis, as Mrs Petrea recognises, the best measure of Agrana Romania’s success is customer satisfaction. “Our strategy,” she stated, “is to grow by improving the standard of our products and services, adapting to the needs of our customers and providing high-quality products for all of our n different markets.”


SUSTAINABILITY Valio Ltd is the biggest milk processor in Finland and the market leader in all key dairy product groups in its domestic market. Industry Europe looks at the latest from the company.


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

tion in Finland and the vitality of the nation’s countryside by processing milk into tasty products that promote health and wellbeing.

Strong domestic presence Valio has 15 production plants in Finland. Fresh products – milks, fermented milks, creams, yogurts, sour cream and quark – are processed and packaged at Riihimäki, Tampere, Jyväskylä, Seinäjoki and Oulu. There are a chain of distribution terminals operating in connection with these dairies. Elsewhere, Valio makes cheese in Lapinlahti, Joensuu, Haapavesi, Kaitsor, Toholampi, Äänekoski and Vantaa, and production of butter and spreads is concentrated in Seinäjoki. Milk and whey powders are produced in Lapinlahti, Haapavesi and Seinäjoki, and UHT products are made in Turenki. All 15 production plants follow the same stringent quality control regulations in producing this range of products. In addition, Valio

manufactures milk, yogurts and other products for the Baltic markets at its Laeva dairy in Estonia, and cheese in its Estonian subsidiary Vöru Juust. Valio also owns a cheese packing plant in Belgium through its Valio-Vache Bleue subsidiary, and a customer service centre, including production facilities, in Moscow. Valio provides employment for about 30,000 people in Finland, which represents about 10 per cent of the entire food industry sector. In large parts of the country, dairy farms act as the ‘engine of vitality’ in the area around them, Valio points out – and the profit from the group’s business operations is paid to its dairy farmer owners. But Valio’s influence is clearly not restricted to its domestic market. “Valio produces a wide range of dairy products that are known for high quality and purity – not just in Finland but in 65 countries all over the world,” says the company. Valio International’s main strategy is the supply of products to its neighbouring

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countries, namely Sweden, Russia and the Baltic States. However, cheese is its strongest export and here Valio is working hard to gain market share in selected European countries and the USA. It has global sales of its food ingredients products, and international operations, including licensing, accounts for one-third of turnover.

Award-winning innovation Valio is also recognised for its focus on R&D and new products innovation. In particular, the company has pioneered the development of lactose-free technology and analytical methods to determine small lactose levels in foods. Its HPAEC-PAD (high performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection) method is accredited by the Finnish Accreditation Service, FINAS. Valio’s patented and award-winning membrane filtration technology enables the production of a lactose-free milk drink with the taste of fresh milk. This was first launched 10 years ago in Finland; since then, Valio has developed and brought to market a wide variety of lactosefree dairy products. It licenses the technology worldwide and Valio Zero Lactose skimmed milk powder has gained a major market in the food industry as the proven raw material ideal for a variety of purposes. Many food producers value primarily its lactose-free properties but the milk powder has also been taken up purely for its high protein and low fat content, and is used in a large variety of foods, from milk chocolate to diet products. In milk chocolate, the lactose-free milk powder performs similarly to a standard milk powder but enables producers to respond to a growing market for lactose-free milk chocolate, in Europe in particular. For diet products, the powder is perfect because of its very low fat and high protein

levels. The ingredient is used in sports and recovery drinks, muscle building and low carbohydrate diet products. Milk proteins have proved highly profitable in weight management and muscle building applications. Valio recently participated in the Russia Ingredients Exhibition in Moscow – an event which promotes high-tech products and the latest technology from all over the world. The main product it presented at this show was its Valio Zero Lactose lactose-free milk powder. It also showed this product at the Food Ingredients China trade show in Shanghai.

ery technology at four plants. More than 80 per cent of Valio packaging for the domestic market is made of material which can be recycled in Finland. And finally, Valio is the biggest distributor of refrigerated goods in Finland – transporting 760 million kilograms n of refrigerated foods last year.

Committed to sustainability Valio’s commitment to the environment is a vital part of its activities. Its production plants aim to reduce wastewater load and volume in proportion to the quantity of milk taken in. Production energy efficiency has been improved by installing lost heat recov-

DSM and Dairy - Your Challenges our Solutions DSM is a leading dairy ingredient supplier. We work in close partnership with our customers to develop the best ingredients for the dairy industry. DSM is global leader in lactase solutions. Furthermore, our range includes coagulants and other enzymes, cultures, probiotics, preservation systems & antibiotic residue tests.

Lactose free products - Satisfying consumer demand. Lactose-free products are consumed around the globe by people of all ages. They appeal to those who are sensitive or intolerant to lactose. The health and wellness trend is driving growth in this segment beyond the lactose intolerant population.

Maxilact® With our Maxilact® purified lactase preparation everyone can now enjoy the taste and essential nutrients of dairy. DSM has developed a portfolio of different grades and strengths to meet the specific needs for various applications and processing conditions. As a result, Maxilact® smoothly integrates in each production process and has an excellent track record for quality, reliability & security of supply. For our Maxilact® customers we offer something very special: dedicated technical & application support and a unique portfolio of health ingredients.



A unique product deserves exceptional marketing and since it was founded, ABSOLUT Vodka has been in a class of its own. Philip Yorke talked to Absolut’s vice-president of global marketing, Jonas Tahlin, about the launch of its ‘UNIQUE’ marketing campaign and its new luxury Vodka: ABSOLUT ELYX.


he Absolut Company of Sweden became a wholly owned subsidiary of the PernodRicard Group in 2008 and has the worldwide responsibility for the production, innovation and strategic marketing of Absolut Vodka, as well as for other major global brands such as Malibu, Kahlúa, Wyborowa, Luksusowa and Frïs. Absolut is the world’s fourth largest premium spirit brand and every bottle is produced at its state-of-the-art production facility in Ahus in southern Sweden. The Pernod-Ricard group is one of the most successful drinks companies in the world and in 2012 generated sales of almost €5 billion. Today Absolut employs over 300 people at its production plant in Ahus, with a further 150 engaged at its head office in Stockholm. The production statistics are staggering: every day more than 600,000 bottles 148 Industry Europe

of Absolut are produced and in 2011 more than 11 million 9 litre cases containing over 100 million litres of Absolut Vodka left the Ahus plant. The water used for the manufacture of ABSOLUT VODKA comes from northern Europe’s largest natural spring in Ahus and has filtered through the earth for more than 40,000 years.

‘Limited-edition’ concept In keeping with its long traditions and association with contemporary art, Absolut recently embarked upon a unique marketing challenge. The goal was to make a limited edition of nearly 4 million bottles, each a unique work of art. Every special bottle of ABSOLUT VODKA therefore had to be uniquely designed and numbered to make each one as individual as the customers

that they serve. Not surprisingly this daring marketing campaign was called ‘ABSOLUT UNIQUE’. In order to achieve its objectives the company had to re-engineer its entire production line, which required a complex interaction between human and mechanical elements. Furthermore, a carefully orchestrated randomness had to be introduced to achieve the desired end result. Splash guns and special colour-generating machines were set up, and complex coating, pattern and placement algorithms were programmed in to ensure that no two bottles would be alike. In total over forty different colours were used during manufacturing and this was in addition to 51pattern types applied to the bottles. Mr Tahlin said, “The result was even better than we anticipated. When the bottles

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first appeared on the conveyer belt, we all cheered. By that point the production line looked more like an artist’s studio than a bottle factory. These are truly striking bottles and everyone will find their own personal favourite. One of our main challenges however, is to stay ahead of the pack and contemporary art is deeply rooted in the very fabric of the brand and its identity. “There is an old quote at Absolut that came to light a few years ago that somehow sums up the specialness and charisma of the brand. The Absolut brand was described as “unnecessary good’ when it was translated from Swedish, and this remains the essence of our product today. This is a brand that has a cause rather than a campaign strategy and everyone at Absolut

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has played their part in bringing this unique concept to fruition. In particular, the input from our glass company, Ardagh and that of our digital campaign assets created by Great Works, alongside our creative partner Family Business, all helped to make the impossible possible. Our previous limited editions have won several design awards including Eurobest and the Cannes Lion award and we are hopeful that this ‘UNIQUE’ launch will also be recognised for its creativity.”

Redefining luxury vodka Another major marketing and production achievement in recent months has been Absolut’s development and launch of a brand new luxury Vodka that the company has called, “ ABSOLUT ELYX”. It is also a ‘first’ in

many respects, and is born from a combination of hand-crafted and cutting-edge design to offer genuine quality substance with style. The bottle itself is a piece of pure artistic creativity and is adorned with real copper rods, thus bringing to life the purifying energy of the product’s copper distillation process. The company describes this exceptional vodka of unparalleled purity and texture as ‘liquid silk’. Mr Tahlin added, “Contemporary art is the soul-mate of the Absolut brand, and our new luxury vodka is no exception with its multi-dimensional artistic presentation and style. ABSOLUT ELYX builds upon the considerable heritage of purity and quality that is synonymous with the Absolut brand and is now available worldwide since it was rolled out in March 2013”.

Absolut controls every step of the production of ABSOLUT ELYX, from seed to bottle and all is performed within a five-mile radius of the original Absolut distillery in Ahus. Other unique attributes of the brand include the use of a single estate wheat delivered from Rabelof Castle in southern Sweden and its manual distillation to achieve an ultimate silky texture. In addition,

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it is distilled in a copper still dating from 1921 in order to remove any impurities and n to enhance its perfect character. For further information about The Absolut Company and its unique spirits and production processes visit: For production pictures, visit: (photographs by Kasper Dudzik).


Unilin is a European leader in the development and manufacture of fibreboard finished flooring products and panels. Philip Yorke talked to Lode de Boe, the company’s president of its panels division, about the launch of a new range of unique ‘click’ board products and strong growth in its furniture and DIY sectors.


nilin was founded in south-west Flanders in Belgium in 1960 by a group of families involved in the flax industry, who began producing flax-based chipboards. They called the new company Unilin. The business grew very quickly and the company soon needed to source an alternative raw material product as demand had exceeded the supply of available flax. Therefore in the 1970s they decided to use wood as an alternative raw material, resulting in the production of wood-based chipboards. A major decision was made in the late 1980s to move into the manufacture of laminate flooring, and yet another milestone was reached in 1997 when the company developed and marketed the world’s first glue-less, integrated ‘click’ system. Today Unilin is a major global player in its three core areas of operation: boards, decorative

panels and finished products, and forms a significant part of Unilin’s American parent company, Mohawk Industries Inc., which is listed on the New York stock exchange.

Pioneering ‘click-furniture’ and ‘click-wall’ systems Unilin’s highly successful Uniclic® system represented a revolutionary departure from the traditional fixing and assembly of panels when it was first launched in 1997. Unilin’s unique ‘click’ system was the world’s first, glue-less, integrated system and was special because Unilin’s new panels could be joined securely together by either using a rotary movement, or simply by tapping them together on a flat surface. Today continuous innovation forms one of the pillars of Unilin’s success and is pursued throughout its three key operational divi-

sions. This continuous commitment to innovation and quality has resulted in a number of new engineering break throughs for the company, including its revolutionary ‘clickfurniture’ and ‘click-wall’ panel products. Unilin’s latest contribution to the world’s furniture markets is its revolutionary ‘clickfurniture’ range which offers extremely easy and quick assembly without using any tools. Dismantling this furniture is also very simple, which makes it an ideal solution for a speedy and efficient house move. Mr De Boe said, “We are also launching our exciting new range of ‘click-furniture’ products at the upcoming industry trade fair ‘Interzum’ in Germany and these products offer toolless connections for today’s modern furniture assembly lines, thus saving our customers both valuable time and money. This latest ‘click’ technology is being launched in a com-

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pletely new range of ‘flat-pack’ kitchen carcasses that offer our customers a huge range of options to suit their individual requirements. “In addition we are also developing a new range of embossed melamine panels which are pre-impregnated in the pressing process and are contoured to look precisely like real wood, which is achieved in sync with the printing process itself. All our product development is conducted in-house and sometimes in association with local universities, and this intellectual property is something that we are happy to license out to other companies throughout the world. In fact, more than 85 per cent of all flooring manufacturers are using our ‘click’ technology, patented products today. “In many instances, we also manufacture decorative panels and flooring products on behalf of other companies, thereby working as a major contractor. Returning to our new ‘click-furniture’ products, I would like to emphasise that these are brand new concepts and represent another industry first for Unilin.” Mr De Boe added, “We have always been aware of the need to provide sustainable products and processes and are currently developing a new lightweight chipboard known as UniAIR400 series chipboard. This has a high content of recycled wood and is significantly lighter than other standard chipboard products on the market today. In addition, we are developing an entirely new range of melamine products in association with Formica® under the brand name Formica®Unilin. We see our

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future growth coming from our trade and DIY sectors where, we are able to supply mixed trucks of innovative new products every year.

Panels to suit every application Unilin’s panel division also offers its customers unique designs and a wide range of contemporary surface textures and finishes for its wall and flooring products. The vertical integration of the company means that products are readily available from stock, or can be made to measure to suit any individual customer’s needs. The company’s UniDESIGN boards are finished with stylish surface textures with a melamine layer on either side, whilst its UniPAINT boards offer ready-to-paint melamine surfaces.

Today ready-made finished products form a major part of Unilin’s product portfolio and these include completely finished products that range from UniFURNITURE ‘completekit’ products, to its innovative, seamless wall system, branded ClicWall®. If a customer is looking for a fast and easy system to cover walls with a seamless finish, then the ClicWall® range offers the perfect answer. ClicWall® enables the customer to fit floor-toceiling panels with consummate ease and up to five times faster than more traditional wall n systems like plasterboard. For further information about Unilin’s revolutionary panel and furniture products visit: and

Traditional wall systems

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PAPER PRODUCTS SCA is a global consumer goods and paper company that produces and markets personal care products, tissue, packaging solutions, publication papers and solid-wood products. The SCA Forest Products division is a leading producer of timber, pulp and publication paper. Representing sales and marketing for pulp and paper production for the group, SCA Forest Products is keen to promote responsible and renewable products.


illions of consumers use SCA products every day. The group provides hygiene products, personal care, tissue, packaging and forest products, and has over 50,000 employees worldwide. SCA Forest Products accounts for 17 per cent of group sales and has 4500 workers, all playing a key role in the company culture of openness, efficiency and a passion for nature. Founded in Sweden in the mid-1800s, the group was officially established as Svenska

Cellulosa Aktiebolaget in 1939. SCA Forest Products has developed into a large part of the group and is located in the middle of Sweden, 400km north of Stockholm, and is the largest private forest land owner in Europe.

Respecting the forest From the forest, the company generates around 1.8m3 of sawn timber annually, 500,000 tonnes of pulp and 850,000 tonnes of paper. Of the paper produced, around 370,000 tonnes is used for newsprint, with

the remainder apportioned to magazine paper including glossy paper. Committed to supplying bioenergy and ensuring the entire process is as environmentally responsible as possible, SCA Forest Products always utilises the whole tree. A company representative told Industry Europe, “If you imagine the whole tree, around two thirds of it is used for timber, the top third for the production of pulp and the branches, tops and sawdust generated is used for bioenergy pellets as it is too thin for any other product. Of the timber part, only 50 per cent is able to be made into timber as it needs to be made into a square shape, so the rest of the section is made into chips for pulp. We always make sure we use 100 per cent of the tree as it is an important natural resource that deserves respect.” SCA Forest Products has always appreciated the value of its natural resources and continues to create value through knowledge of consumer and customer needs, regional presence and efficient production. Sustainable development is a strategic strength across the whole group, with SCA Forest Products passionate advocates. The company representative explained, “Our reputation is one of high environmental profile and we are committed to maintaining and enhancing that further. SCA Forest

Products adhere to all possible standards and promote effective use of available technology to support our aims. For example, we do not use any chlorine in our pulp production and have a closed loop for wastewater so that nothing spoils.”

A preferred supplier SCA Forest Products is also one of the first certified forests with its own label and, while it is not the biggest in the market in terms of size, is often the preferred supplier because of the consistently high level of service, product quality and environmental sustainability. A key element in the progressive, consistent success of SCA Forest Products is

its strategic understanding of maintaining the entire supply chain, which offers great benefits to the company and its customers. Since 1967 SCA has had its own transportation provision, starting with three new large vessels with a 12,000 tonne capacity each. In 1996 SCA introduced three new state-of-the-art vessels with a more modern handling technique and a 9000-tonne capacity each. The company representative continued, “Our transportation vessels allow us to maximise the potential in the supply chain. We have distribution centres and terminals to support the operation and we have essentially built the model for industry in Europe – especially regarding forestry transportation.”

SCA Forest Products is able to utilise the system effectively by using return cargo to fill the vessel both ways. “The vessel can be filled with any cargo that needs to be transported to our destination – there is real economy in our system.”

Future developments Europe is the key market for SCA Forest Products, accounting for 85 per cent, with the UK and Germany as the biggest markets. The company has sales offices in 11 European locations as well as a presence in the Baltic States, Russia and the USA. A technical aftersales service is available at both mill and office level, with teams working to constantly improve n the printability of its paper products.

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DRIVING INNOVATION FORWARD Indian tyre manufacturer BKT continues to achieve positive growth through a focus on new products and expanding its operations. Industry Europe looks at the reasons behind its success.


KT is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ‘off-highway’ tyres, and prides itself on being a ‘one-stop shop’ for all off-highway tyre solutions with more than 1900 stock keeping units. At BKT, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of off-road tyres, facilities are continually being upgraded and expanded as new products are brought to the market. Each year the company brings out 150 to 160 new sizes, varieties or ranges.

BKT is the flagship company of the well-known Indian business conglomerate Siyaram-Poddar Group. The group focuses on a range of diverse business areas, including textiles, clothing, yarns, furnishings, paper and tyres. Within tyres, BKT is a global leader in off-road products. BKT began producing cross-ply offhighway tyres in 1995 and was soon selling into European and American markets. With persistent and intensive market research,

coupled with its ever-expanding production capabilities, BKT went on to make its mark in both cross-ply and radial tyres in speciailty segments such as agricultural, construction, industry, earthmoving, ports, all-terrain vehicles and turf care applications. Today, the company’s head office is in Mumbai. Production facilities are located at Chopanki, Bhiwadi and Waluj. There is also a mould plant at Dombivali. However, the company is constantly expanding its pro-

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duction base. A recently established fourth factory has increased its tyre-making capacity by more than 70 per cent. Some US$300 million was spent on this project and it has created a significant rise in output.

to move into the agricultural equipment sector on a global scale. It was also the first company to offer radial agricultural application tyres and the only company from India to offer all-steel radial OTR tyres.

responsibility to work and contribute towards social causes. Great efforts are being taken in this direction by BKT group in running a school for under-privileged children and funding various hospitals for free medical services.”

In-house R&D

Social and environmental commitment

Significant growth

BKT’s brands include Agrimax, Agrimax Force, Agrimax Fortis, Agrimax Terris, Earthmax, Multimax and Roadmax. These have evolved over the years and new versions have been launched. Research and development is also always at the forefront of BKT’s operation, with the company investing heavily. All its tyres and technologies, including radial OTR and agriradial tyre technology have been developed in-house. The key reason BKT tyres are globally competitive is the company’s engineering talent. Over the years, a dedicated team of engineers have taken on the task of designing and manufacturing superior tyres in the shortest possible time. Indeed, the company is proud of the fact that it has a series of ‘firsts’ to its name. It was the first company in India, for example,

At BKT, environmental concerns, safety and social responsibility is of the utmost importance. A company spokesperson said: “We certainly understand our responsibility towards creating a greener and safer planet. We take all possible measures to contribute to the cause from energy-efficient manufacturing units, lush green campuses, raw material procuring which are least hazardous to the environment. In fact, we were the first company in India to offer REACH compliant products, recommended by the European Union for environmental protection. Even our new logo is a reflection of our philosophy of creating a greener society. “The safety and welfare of our employees is our primary concern and we have taken all measures to address this by providing world class infrastructure. We also consider it our

BKT has top-quality tyre testing facilities, including endurance testing machines up to 32 MT and tyre X-ray inspection machines. It conducts indoor and outdoor tests, and has a dedicated outdoor testing facility in Italy. All such tests are based on strict international regulations. More than 90 per cent of its tyre production is exported to more than 120 countries across all five continents. BKT is in all the major markets of Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It has been increasing its sales in the CIS countries and Russia over the past two years. And with further product developments in the pipeline, particularly those that aim to make its tyres more environmentally friendly, expansion should continue at a n steady pace.

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DELIVERING UNIQUE, HEAVY-HAULAGE TECHNOLOGY Doll Fahrzeugbau is a market leader in the development of heavy transport solutions. Philip Yorke talked to Patrick Spitznagel, the company’s sales director for heavy vehicles, about its latest semi-trailer technology, new ‘Trailer-in-a-box’ option and its move into the expanding Indian market.


oll Fahrzeugbau AG is a privately owned, family-managed business that was founded in Germany in 1878. The company began trading as a wagon-works and went on to produce all types of carriages and forestry tools and equipment, before moving into the heavy haulage sector in the 1970s. Since then it has seen consistent growth and in 2009 opened a new, state-of-the-art facility in Mildenau, Germany, to extend its manufacturing capabilities. Now in its fourth generation of family management, the company is recognised as a global leader in its specialised area of heavy-haulage transport solutions. Doll Fahrzeugbau’s headquarters and its extensive manufacturing and R&D facilities are located in Oppenau in the Black Forest. 164 Industry Europe

Despite the prevailing adverse global trading conditions, last year the company managed to increase its turnover by over 10 per cent, to record sales in 2012 of more than €62 million.

Diverse, heavy-haulage solutions For many years, Doll has pioneered the special trailer technology that drives the heavy haulage industry. Its products are divided into five distinct product groups. These are platform semitrailers, low-bed semi-trailers and drop-bed semi-trailers, as well as self-steering trailers and off-road vehicles. In addition to the proven technology developed for its Vario heavy-haulage series, the company is also responsible for the world’s most manoeuvrable semi-trailers, the panther series, with its patented self-steer-

ing technology and independent heavy-duty suspension systems. The range of applications for Doll’s hightech, heavy haulage solutions is unlimited and ranges from military applications for the transportation of tanks and heavy armour, to special scissor-lift vehicles for the catering and construction industries. This is in addition to the diverse range of industries it serves that include railways, forestry, energy and oil refineries, all of which require the transportation of massive and unusual loads from time to time.

Expanding global reach Until recently, the company’s export activities have been centred on the EU countries, as well as North Africa and Singapore,

where it has well-established sales offices. In addition it has a joint-venture company in Thailand that serves the Far East markets. Doll also has an extensive network of sales and service partners worldwide. However, a major development took place recently when it entered into a new joint venture agreement with one of India’s leading transportation engineering companies, JCBL Ltd. Mr Spitznagel said, “Whilst Germany remains our biggest single market, we are seeing steady growth in our export sales. Around 40 per cent of our products are produced for export markets with a significant proportion destined for Switzerland and Scandinavia. However, we expect to see our export sales climb this year since the sign-

ing of a new licence agreement with India’s leading bus and coach manufacturer, JCBL. “This company’s main plant is situated just north of Delhi where much of their production is geared to building bus bodies for the big OEMs, as well as manufacturing special purpose vehicles and its own brand of integral coaches. Initially this licence agreement will relate to our smaller, ‘bread and butter’ flat-bed trailers. In the USA too, our ground support services business is growing thanks to collaboration with the Palfinger North America Group, who are marketing our special lift vehicles for airport catering services and other industrial applications. “Returning to our Asian initiative, India is a very price-sensitive market, especially at the

lower end, which is why in the future we will focus on our heavy haulage series to cater for such items as wind turbines and military transport. In order to maintain and guarantee our high quality standards in Asia, we are training JCBL engineers in Oppenau while at the same time ensuring the same level of after sales service and technical support. Mr Spitznagel added, “We are considered to be the premium product leader in our area of operations and are fortunate in having within our company some of the best qualified and most experienced engineers in the business, many of whom have been working for us for many years. Interestingly, some of our most impressive heavy haulage solutions have been developed to serve the needs of Industry Europe 165

companies involved in infrastructure, where massive concrete structures require to be transported, as well as for heavy military transporters for NATO and others, and for large OEM truck manufacturers like Daimler and Renault.”

Vario and Panther technology leads the field Doll’s panther semi-trailers offer exceptional, innovative running gear that provides unbelievable manoeuvrability and can adapt to suit the most challenging terrain. Operators and drivers alike are enthusiastic about the excellent driving dynamics, road safety features and low-loading height of these semi-trailers. The revolutionary technology employed in the Panther series has proved to be a global success and the range includes vehicles that offer between two and ten axles, all with independent suspension. Within just two years, the Doll Panther range has become a byword for quality and reliability in the heavy haulage industry.

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In addition, the company’s well-proven Vario series are heavy-duty semi-trailers with beam axles and air-suspension as standard, although hydraulic suspension is also available as an option. Today, Doll continues to apply its innovative muscle across all its business activities and is now marketing a new ‘value-added’ option, as Mr Spitznagel explains, “Yet another major development recently has been our strategic decision to offer what we call the ‘Trailer-in-a-box’ option. This means that customers can purchase major parts of our trailers, including our special hydraulic systems, and integrate them into their own vehicles. This offers them a very attractive, cost-effective option and one that complements our own key business activities. We will also be reaching an entirely new target audience with the opportunity for new sales that this represents. Furthermore, we know that the market is looking for more sophisticated steering solutions for heavyhaulage trailers and we have now developed the most advanced and reliable products

on the market. These will all be showcased at the forthcoming BAUMA Trade Show in Munich in April this year on our outside n stand: F9 N932/3.” For further information about Doll Fahrzeugbau and its advanced heavyhaulage products and services visit:

The Belgian company Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering (DEME), based in Antwerp, believes that the key to success is to make a difference in your market. Its philosophy of offering innovative solutions, together with more than a century of specialist industrial know-how, has led it to achieve global success.




EME’s ability to read the dredging industry and commit substantial capital investment to further strengthen its position and allow for diversification means that it can provide an unrivalled service to its customers, and be a major player across five continents of the world. Dredging is the Antwerp-based company’s core business and it represents 70 per cent of its global activities. And it seems DEME is making all the difference in a booming and highly competitive industry. The company recorded an annual turnover of €1.766 billion in 2011. Its invest-

ment programme up to 2013 has included the construction of 17 major dredgers and hydraulic engineering vessels.

Operating on the world stage The recent additions to the fleet constitute quite a sizeable investment in what has become a huge flotilla, but it’s also a necessary move if DEME is to continue playing such an active role in the global dredging market. The company is permanently present in every region of the world, which is precisely why it needs to maintain such an extensive fleet.

DEME is present on every continent because it has an extensive fleet of dredgers, totalling 90 main vessels backed by a broad range of auxiliary equipment. In November last year (2012) the company named its latest self-propelled rock dredge ‘Amazone’. This new seagoing dredger is self-propelled and features 12,860 kW of total installed power. It is specially equipped for dredging hard rock formations with a rock cutter head designed for great production rates with low down-time. This latest ‘green’ vessel from DEME reflects its commitment to acting in a sustainable way.

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DEME deploys its vessels to strategic points all over the world, giving the company a presence in the local market, and with it more opportunities to tender for new contracts in that area. Aside from maintaining an enormous quantity of vessels, the company has to ensure that it has a wide variety of craft to meet the different demands posed by the diverse locations in which it works. It also helps to offset difficult periods in the market. It needs to have a wide range of vessels to ensure that it is not just active with one type of dredger, as that would make it vulnerable and limited to certain geographical areas. Moreover, dredging is a cyclical business so DEME needs to limit the risk, and when business is low in one segment it can compensate by being strong in another area.

ing contractors, Dredging International and Baggerwerken Decloedt. Following the buyout of the De Cloedt family shareholders in 2000, Ackermans & van Haaren – an Antwerp-based industrial investment group – and CFE, a civil contractor controlled by the French Vinci Group, now control the capital share. Although it is now an industrial holding company, Ackermans & van Haaren started in 1852 as a general construction company and bought its first dredgers just two decades later. Baggerwerken Decloedt started its dredging business on the Belgian coast at about the same time. With these combined years in the business, DEME is able to offers its customers a degree of experience in and knowledge of the dredging industry that is not only unsurpassed, but absolutely essential in such a competitive and demanding environment.

A strong tradition

Diversification reaps rewards

The origin of DEME lies in Flanders, the Dutchspeaking region of Belgium. It was established as the holding company of two Belgian dredg-

Aside from dredging, DEME’s strategy is to possess a strong core business, supported by additional activities. One such diversi-

fication is its environmental activities that includes the remediation of silt and soil, and currently accounts for 15 per cent of its annual turnover. Other business activities concern its marine engineering work, which involves various hydraulic activities, horizontal and vertical directional water-based drilling and the development and construction of wind farms. The company is also focused on project development to offer turnkey solutions to its clients. DEME operates on a global scale but the company has witnessed some changes in its geographical spread. Whereas the Far East provided a strong focus for its activities in the 1990s, it is now the Middle East that is providing an important market for the company. Its R&D teams at its headquarters in Belgium focus on creating new techniques and developing existing methods in all of its dredging, environmental and marine markets, which usually happens in the context n of new tenders.

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OFFSHORE INNOVATION Bourbon SA specialises in offshore oil and gas marine services and operates in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the west coast of Africa and many other regions of the world. In Subsea Services, Bourbon is playing a growing role in the development of offshore wind energy.

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he French island of Réunion lies to the east of Madagascar and is a major exporter of sugar. The old name for the island is Île Bourbon. The Bourbon company, which was founded in 1948, began life on Réunion producing sugar and rum. After 1979, when Jacques de Chateauvieux became the chairman, Bourbon took a new course, gradually withdrawing from the sugar business as it came to focus on marine services. Today Bourbon is based in Paris, with 8350 employees, 436 vessels and a presence in more than 30 countries worldwide. It provides offshore services both to international oil majors such as Exxon Mobil, Shell and Agip and to state-owned oil companies such as Petrobras and Saudi Aramco. The company separates its activities into two areas: Marine Services such as towing and anchoring drilling platforms; and Subsea Services, where its ships assist with inspection, repair and maintenance (IMR) in deep offshore oil fields.

Innovative technology As part of the energy mix, European countries want to develop sources of renewable energy, and Bourbon’s expertise supports the development of offshore wind farms. In the North Sea, the Bourbon Enterprise has assisted with the installation of undersea electric cables for the new Greater Gabbard wind farm off the Suffolk coast. “As of June 2010, Bourbon has been operating in offshore wind with the Bourbon Enterprise,” stated Patrick Belenfant, senior vice-president of business management, Bourbon Subsea Services. “This IMR vessel (dedicated to inspection, maintenance and repair of subsea infrastructures), first intervened on the Greater Gabbard Wind Farm, one of the biggest offshore installation projects on the south coast of England, before joining the BARD Offshore 1 field off Germany.” In recent years Bourbon has installed an innovative wind structures in the Atlantic for

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the Portuguese utility company Energias de Portugal (EDP). The wind turbine, now in place near Aguçadoura, has a WindFloat foundation, meaning the structure could be assembled onshore before it was towed out to sea and anchored. The advantage of using floating structures is that there is no need to use heavy lifting equipment offshore. The WindFloat technology was developed by an American firm, Principle Power.

only construction but also exploration and maintenance. Its IMR vessels are used in maintenance operations and also serve as floating hotels for employees working at a particular site. For exploration, the company has its own fleet of remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs). These subsea exploration robots are capable of making surveys of deep water and are equipped with advanced technology such as sonar and high-definition cameras.


2015 Leadership Strategy

Bourbon’s anchor handling tug supply vessel (AHTS), the Bourbon Liberty 228, towed the offshore wind turbine platform out to sea, put it into the right position and anchored it. Setting up a new offshore wind turbine is a specialist assignment, requiring the skills of both engineers and sailors. Fortunately, Bourbon is capable of adapting to specific client demands. Bourbon’s range of services for the offshore wind sector is comprehensive, covering not

Diversification into wind power is one of the aims of Bourbon’s plan for 2015, the ‘Bourbon 2015 Leadership Strategy’. Under the strategy, the company is to invest around $2 billion to build new offshore vessels. These investments will allow the company to replace obsolete vessels more quickly on the continental offshore market as well as to achieve growth in its deep offshore operations. In total, Bourbon plans to have 600 new-generation vessels by 2015. Alongside the expansion

of its fleet, the company intends to take on more staff, and by 2015 there will be 12,000 people on the payroll. Recruitment at Bourbon is international and Bourbon has centres for training the crews in Marseille, Singapore, Manila, Ravenna and China. The oil and gas industry has been using floating structures for many years, but in renewable energy the WindFloat support structure, which enables wind farms to be established far out to sea in deep water, represents a major breakthrough. Bourbon stands ready to take on more offshore wind power projects in the future. “Bourbon has been actively involved in work on several wind farms since 2010,” stated Bourbon’s CEO, Christian Lefèvre, “and a number of other projects are due to be rolled out over the next few years. Bourbon’s fleet is ideally suited to providing solutions for the installation and operation of wind farms. Wind is a promising complementary activity for our offshore oil and gas marine service offering.” n

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APL is a global container shipping business that provides customers around the world with container transportation services through a network combining high-quality intermodal operations with state-ofthe-art information technology.

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lobal container shipping company APL offers more than 80 weekly services and more than 500 calls at more than 140 ports worldwide. It combines worldclass intermodal operations with leadingedge IT and e-commerce. APL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines, a global transportation and logistics company engaged in shipping and related businesses. APL’s partnerships with some of the world’s best-known brands and its success in fostering trade in emerging markets has helped to define global trade, setting new benchmarks in service innovation and excellence. The company’s aim is to help customers grow their business – whether that is venturing into new territories, exploring new business opportunities, or growing in already developed markets. With more than 160

years’ experience, APL has the knowledge and the expertise to help its clients negotiate the increasingly complex and ever-changing global marketplace. Today APL offers a scale of container transportation solutions that few can match. These include a comprehensive fleet of vessels and modern equipment, two state-of-the-art intermodal terminals in the US West Coast and priority access to strategic Asian terminals. It also has the benefit of an extensive intermodal network to facilitate inland reach and an integrated supply chain solutions with APL Logistics.

Full range of transport solutions By combining world-class intermodal operations, reaching 25,000 locations in 105 countries, with leading-edge IT and e-commerce capabilities, APL provides its customers with

the full range of transport solutions, including seamless door-to-door services. Its commitment to meeting every need extends to ensuring that it complies with all standards for security, safety, regulatory and environmental requirements. APL’s containership fleet is among the most modern and largest in the world. Together with its alliance partners, the company is able to provide worldwide coverage across all the major trade lanes. And at a time when control can make the difference to how smoothly cargo flows through the supply chain, its customers benefit from the fact that it operates its own marine terminals at eight strategic points around the world, including three on the U.S. West Coast. In addition, APL has priority access in major ports such as in Singapore and China.

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X-PRESS FEEDERS Headquartered in Singapore and established in 1972, X-PRESS FEEDERS has grown to become the largest feeder carrier in the world in terms of Shipper Owned Containers (SOCs). The company ranks 24th on the AXS global ranking of container ship operators. X-PRESS FEEDERS is set apart as a group by the fact that it runs as a completely independent feeder carrier that does not own, lease or operate any containers. It provides transportation services solely to container ship operators and does not serve proprietary cargo interests or the general shipping public – giving it a stronger focus.

This focus on container ship operators is important for X-PRESS FEEDERS as it means it is not in competition with its customers, allowing it to act as a trustworthy and impartial sub-contractor. X-PRESS has a 200-strong team throughout the world, comprising highly trained shipping specialists who understand the specific needs of each customer and are able to provide them with highly effective feeding solutions.

The company’s close partnership with railroads, trucking companies and other transport services also ensures there is always a solution to match customers’ needs. Through these strategic arrangements, all are assured of greater choice, convenience and flexibility. In addition, as part of the NOL Group, APL and sister company APL Logistics, APL can efficiently leverage on the expertise, resources and capabilities of the Group to offer end-to-end, global supply chain solutions and integrated services to suit your every need.

New services In January 2013 APL introduced a new feeder service to expand its presence in Europe. The dedicated and direct PEX service will run weekly between Germany and Poland. It will provide APL’s customers with timely connections to feeder ports as well as competitive transit times to Asia and USA via the carrier’s global and comprehensive network. The new service port rotation is: Bremerhaven – Hamburg – Gdynia – Bremerhaven. The first sailing took place on 21 January 2013 from Bremerhaven on the vessel Akacia. The previous month, APL also introduced a new weekly service to enhance its network coverage in East Asia. The new Japan Thai-

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land 2 (JT2) service is operated through a vessel sharing agreement with Hanjin Shipping with three vessels of 1700 TEU nominal capacity each. The launch of the JT2 service enhances APL’s global product offering and complements the existing Japan Thailand Vietnam (JTV) service to provide a comprehensive

service network for customers trading between South East Asia, North Asia and Japan. It gives wider coverage of Kansai and West Japan region, links Taiwan and the Pearl River Delta region to Thailand, with competitive transit times and connects to APL’s global network via trans-shipment n hubs in Kaohsiung and Hong Kong.

A ONE-STOP SERVICE With a radical reorganisation of its business and major acquisitions, Sweden’s TransAtlantic shipping company is now offering customers fully integrated shipping, transportation and logistics services.


March 2011 the Swedish shipping company Rederi AB TransAtlantic took the decision to restructure into two separate business entities with independent stockmarket listings. For many years the company had been operating in two distinct business areas – Offshore/ Icebreaking and Industrial Shipping – but it now judged that the future development of the group would be best served by spinning it off. A new entity, Trans Viking, has been established with a head office in Copenhagen to develop the Offshore/Icebreaking activities while Rederi AB TransAtlantic continues to develop the Industrial Shipping

operations, focusing in particular on the integration of the Swedish shipping and logistics company Osterstroms, which was acquired by the group in June 2011. Trans Viking is now established as a separate shipping company focused on offshore operations, specifically in the Arctic areas and other areas with difficult weather conditions. The Odin Viking anchor handling tug supply vessel and four newbuildings are to be transferred to the new Danish company Trans Viking Offshore AS while the TransAtlantic group’s three icebreaking anchor handling vessels will remain in the Norwegian company

Trans Viking Icebreaking & Offshore AS. The icebreaking vessels will continue to be available to the Swedish Maritime Administration for icebreaking during the first quarter of the year and will be available for the offshore market for the rest of the year. A listing of the new Trans Viking company is planned on the Oslo stock exchange. TransAtlantic has also boosted its offshore capabilities by acquiring SBS Marine, a British offshore shipping company based in Aberdeen. SBS Marine operates a fleet of modern platform supply vessels (and one older vessel) and integration of the company’s operations into Trans Viking Offshore is well advanced.

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TransAtlantic says that its unique experience in conducting operations in ice conditions and harsh weather and the unrivalled expertise of its ships’ officers in ice breaking and offshore work will be invaluable as the search for oil and gas gathers momentum in Arctic waters, from the Barents Sea to the coast of Greenland. The company sees opportunities for multi-year contracts with international oil companies.

Industrial Shipping expands Following the decision to spin–off the icebreaking and offshore operations, TransAtlantic saw the need to strengthen its position in the Industrial Shipping sector, in particular to 180 Industry Europe

achieve critical mass both to ensure efficient operations in the expanding Baltic short-sea market and to secure its status on the Stockholm stock exchange. It therefore decided to expand its range of services by acquiring the Swedish shipping and logistics company Osterstroms International AB. On the completion of this acquisition in June 2011 Percy Osterstroms, the owner and CEO of Osterstroms, was appointed Head of TransAtlantic’s Industrial Shipping business area. The company also decided to relocate its head office in Sweden from Skarhamn to Gothenburg in order to be closer to clients, suppliers, banks etc.

Full service offer Following the acquisition of Osterstroms, TransAtlantic Industrial Shipping operates through five divisions – Bulk, Container, RoRo, ShortSea Bulk and Integrated Logistics. Its fleet consists of some 50 vessels that are wholly or partly owned as well as vessels chartered for specific periods. As well as its sea going crews it employs staff in terminals, offices and ports in seven countries. Its focus is primarily on the Baltic Sea, including the Gulf of Bothnia, and the North Sea, and its customers come primarily from the forest, steel, energy and mining industries of Sweden and Finland.

TransAtlantic’s RoRo services operate mainly in the Baltic Sea and in parts of the North Sea on four main routes – Kemi–Oulu– Lubeck–Gothenburg; Oulu–Kemi–Antwerp– Zeebrugge; Kotka-Gothenburg and GavleRauma. All types of cargo are carried, including machinery parts, boats and tanks, using a fleet of cassettes and roll-trailers. The company’s bulk services operate mostly through long-term contracts with producers in the forestry, mining and steel industries and its ice-class vessels can call at most ports in its region. TransAtlantic offers container-based traffic between the Malardalen/Stockholm area and the south of Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. The lines are served by modern container vessels with high ice classification and several of these have built-in dehumidifying systems for transporting moisture-sensitive steel products.

TransAtlantic can offer customers a true one-stop service through its fully coordinated logistics solutions, in which a single employee assumes responsibility for the customer’s entire logistical flow, from the shipment of raw materials to the delivery of the finished product to the end customer. The company operates ports in Sweden, Poland (Stettin) and the UK (Hull) where it deploys its many years of experience not only in shipping but in cargo handling, customs documentation and clearing, haulage and ship brokerage. It also enjoys an extensive network of partnerships though which it can ensure swift and efficient onward distribution of shipments via trucks, trains or barges. Linking all these services is a coordinated IT and information system that can monitor the location of each individual item

in the logistics chain and provide information on when it will reach the end customer. Indeed, the customer himself has the option of following the movement of his goods via his own computer systems. Such monitoring systems have, of course, been familiar in land transportation services for several years but are fairly new in combined sea/land services. n

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STRONG IN STEEL Advanced steel component producer Vlassenroot has gained a reputation for excellence in state-of-theart equipment. World leader in production of the most critical components of telescopic cranes, Vlassenroot is working hard to maintain its competitive advantage.


lassenroot has over 80 years’ experience in the steel processing industry and today employs more than 1000 people across its three European production sites. Established in 1926, Vlassenroot has been a part of the international production and distribution group JC Wibo and Partners since 1996. Having held an ISO international quality standard since 1999, the company has long combined the best of its heritage in engineering excellence with high quality production capabilities. This heritage and hard work has given Vlassenroot a strong base of well-known clients, including major crane manufacturers Liebherr, Manitowoc, Terex, Faun and many 182 Industry Europe

others, who appreciate its core product: completely welded boom-sections for hydraulic telescopic cranes.

Equipment and expertise Vlassenroot has the equipment and expertise to offer a wide range of steel crane components, with its core business in the lifting industry providing booms and chassis for telescopic booms, lattice work and spreader beams. The company also performs well in the infrastructure industry, with its expertise utilised in bridge profiles, beams and steel constructions. With both of these industry sectors hit heavily by the global economic crisis, Vlassenroot was required to reduce its

inventory in order to be in a strong position to capitalise on the upturn. As the world leader in the production of the most critical components of telescopic cranes, Vlassenroot is primarily active as a subcontractor for projects in the lifting industry. Its three production sites are located in Belgium, Germany and Poland, with the latter being the most recently completed. A company representative told Industry Europe, “Since we completed the Polish site a few years ago, we have added the production of frames or chassis for the same hydraulic cranes for which we have long been manufacturing the welded boomsections. We are also active in the produc-

tion of these booms and chassis for aerial platforms and we make various different kinds of parts for construction under our XXL portfolio brand.” The wide XXL brand offered by Vlassenroot is a key component in its competitive advantage, and it highlights that the company is the only supplier in its field that can deliver a completely welded boom solution. “We are the only manufacturer that provides the complete production, from buying the material, laser cutting, bending, welding, completing and finishing under one central management, with no subcontracting to bending or welding companies. Our customers have one central point of contact to manage their demands throughout their complete product acquisition, which is not only easier from an organisational point of view but also gives great cost and quality benefits.”

XXL – supersized quality Quality is a core value than runs through Vlassenroot. From the raw materials (high strength steel with yield strengths going up

to 1.300N/mm2 for its construction projects) to the environmental commitment (the company has installed a large number of solar panels), Vlassenroot is focused on being at the top of its game. The company has invested heavily in increasing its operational sustainability and sees its environmental responsibility as both its day-to-day activities and its ability to provide customers with components for green technologies. The XXL steel processing brand is widely considered to be a feather in the Vlassenroot cap. As an innovative solution to industry requirements, the slogan has been carefully created to highlight the fact that ‘Vlassenroot starts where others stop’. The company representative commented: “Our machinery is second to none. We have lasers with a width of seven metres and a length of 30 metres. Our bending machines have forces going up to 4000 tonnes with lengths of 24 metres and our welding possibilities have no limits – we have machining centres of over 240m2. That’s why we say that we start where others stop, because our team of

specialists and engineers are able to maximise the capabilities of this extensive portfolio of machinery to meet the most specific of customer demands.”

High expectations With its main customers situated in Europe, Vlassenroot also enjoys considerable market share in the USA, China, Russia, Japan, Africa and other areas. In addition to its core business of completely welded boomsections and chassis for telescopic hydraulic cranes, Vlassenroot is gaining presence in shipbuilding and transport markets. As Vlassenroot looks forward to continued success, its plans incorporate both further innovative products and developing new geographical markets with strategic partners. “We are always looking for new business opportunities and we intend to keep investing in new technology. Our intention is to add laser welding to our capabilities in the near future, which will cement our market leading position as no one else is offering laser technology for welding boom-sections and other parts.” n

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Sensonor AS is a leading manufacturer of gyro, inertia and pressure products. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at the company’s recent success.


ensonor AS has always emphasised innovation but with SAR500 products currently under development, the company is looking ahead for significant growth through an ever-broadening portfolio of ground-breaking technologies. Hans Richard Petersen, vice-president of marketing and strategic sales at Sensonor AS, says new products such as the STIM300 and STIM210, are already making

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a name for themselves in the world of precision MEMS technology solutions. Sensonor AS plans to remain ahead of the industry. “Most of our future growth will be organic,” he explains, “and this will be achieved by widening our product portfolio. We will focus on our unique development projects. We compete with the biggest industry players around the world and our customers realise we have a great deal to offer.”

High precision For more than 25 years, Sensonor AS, a leading manufacturer of gyro and pressure products for high precision applications, played a significant role in the global MEMS industry. Today, its gyro modules and inertial measurement units (IMUs) are the smallest and highest-performing commercially available products in this category worldwide. Sensonor AS’s products are used in a wide

range of applications for the defence, energy and aerospace industries and are used for navigation, guidance and stabilisation. Sensonor AS has produced more than 250 million pressure sensors, 250 million accelerometers, and more than two million gyros that have been shipped to customers for use in a wide array of applications. Over the years, it has also achieved a catalogue of achievements including launching the first MEMS pressure sensor for aircraft engine control, the first MEMS accelerometer for air bag systems, the first optical pressure sensor for down hole well monitoring and the first low-cost automotive gyro.

“We started off with our core business in defence and aerospace before moving into automotive and consumer applications, where we have had a presence for the last 10 years or so,” says Mr Petersen. “However, we recently decided to increase our concentration on high precision products to gain increasing focus on this part of the market in the future. “It was a challenge for us and we followed a potentially risky strategy of aggressive pricing while customers realised what Sensonor AS was capable of. But, our strategy has proven success and we are seeing increasing levels of demand.”

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Lower cost and more robust Historically, Sensonor AS has been known for the development of a triple stack hermetic wafer bonding technology, which has extremely good long-term properties. The technology is based on a combination of micro-machined single crystalline silicon and micro-machined glass wafers. These wafers are then bonded together using anodic bonding and a controlled gas pressure, creating electrical connections into the bonded cavity by utilising semiconductor diffusions buried under a layer of epitaxial silicon. These stable, long-term properties have been explored within high precision applications by customers using pressure sensors as well as by those using Sensonor’s

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ButterflyGyroTM sensors. From this platform, the company has gone on to launch new products aiming to replace traditional high precision technology by offering lower cost and better robustness in smaller housings, using less power at equal performance.

Realising the vision The STIM202, consists of one, two or three ultra high accuracy gyros in a miniature package with an RS422 interface. The module function is based on an integrated 32-bit microcontroller that provides flexibility in the configuration. “We started several projects with these back in 2008 that will go into regular volume production in 2013. This targets applications

that have high levels of shocks,” Mr Petersen explains. “Then we have the STIM210, which does not have that capability, but the STIM210 has better navigation capabilities.” The STIM210 represents the world’s highest performance silicon MEMS gyro module and also presents a breakthrough for system designers who are under constant pressure to provide smaller, better and lower-cost solutions. “The STIM210 is another step in our ongoing success in realising our vision of providing more stable, robust and affordable high performance gyros to the market place. MEMS gyros continue to advance in performance. With STIM210 in our portfolio we will better address more applications in the navigation and guidance segment.”

An important addition Towards the end of 2012, Sensonor AS also launched its tactical grade miniature IMU, STIM300. This is a small, lightweight and low power International Traffic in Arms Regulations-free, high-performance product. As well as being non-GPS aided and insensitive to magnetic fields, it offers 12 times less weight, 10 times less volume and five times less power consumption over existing solutions with similar performance. “The STIM300 is an important addition to our inertia portfolio and another step in our strategy to increase our reach in the high-performance inertia market. The new IMU has great advantages to applications,

where size, weight and power consumption is critical. We see a robust interest from segments where system payload must be maximised,” Mr Petersen states. “The performance of the sensor cluster in STIM300 allows navigation tasks that earlier had to be addressed by FOG (fibre optic gyro) solutions.”

Change on the horizon Sensonor AS is currently developing SAR500, Mr Petersen said. This is a novel high-precision, low-noise, high-stability, calibrated and compensated digital oscillatory gyroscope with SPI interface housed in a custom-made ceramic package.

The SAR500 contains a Butterfly MEMS die and an analogue ASIC, housed in a rigid custom-made ceramic package. It is factorycalibrated and compensated for temperature effects to provide high-accuracy digital output over a broad temperature range. “This is very exciting for us as the gyro will be between 10 and 100 times higher performance than anything else we are doing at the moment and if it comes on line as we plan, there will be a big change in the market as a whole,” he says. “We hope to start sampling it toward the end of this year. The plan is to make it available, giving our customers the ability to compete much more within the market.” n

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Autogard is part of Rexnord and a global leader in the development and manufacture of torque management products and solutions. Philip Yorke talked to Eric Blickley, the company’s European marketing director about its latest Monitorq® systems and move into the world’s emerging markets.


utogard was founded in England in 1930 and is a world leader in torque limiter and coupling engineering technology. Based in Cirencester, UK, it houses a comprehensive innovation, research and development facility that has kept it at the forefront of powertrain technology. Today Autogard products are at work across a wide range of industrial applications, such as power generation, mineral production, printing, packaging, extrusion and conveying. The company is recognised worldwide for its advanced overload-protection devices and its flexible couplings that are used in a diverse range of power transmission systems. The company’s team of engineering experts use innovative processes and stateof-the-art equipment to research, design, prototype and test, new, energy-efficient powertrain products.

Autogard is part of Rexnord, which is listed on the New York stock exchange and is recognised as a diverse, multinational manufacturing company. Rexnord is comprised of two strategic business platforms: Process & Motion Control and Water Management. In 2012 Rexnord employed over 7000 people.

Unparalleled overload protection Autogard’s torque limiters are available in a wide range of configurations and capabilities, from the simple, cost-effective Series 200 to the Series 600 model, which is pneumatically controlled and has a torque range of up to 20,000Nm and shaft sizes up to 95mm. The Autogard 400 Series is available in reverse to reset as well as automatic reset versions. The 820 Series modular torque limiter can be used in applications up

to 500,000Nm. Autogard’s Monitorq® torque monitoring system provides a highly accurate measurement of torque from any location in a drive train. It offers proven straingauge technology used in conjunction with a short range telemetry system to measure and transmit real-time torque data. These unique, patented systems enhance equipment performance by providing a variety of functions from simple overload protection to production and process control monitoring. Mr Blickley said, “As part of Rexnord we have the benefit of multiple facilities in Europe with a major presence in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, the UK and Belgium. We also have manufacturing plants and Rexnord sales, service and logistic offices strategically located in Brazil, India, China and the USA. While Rexnord has global manufacturing plants, Autogard’s core manu-

facturing plant and global centre of excellence is based in Cirencester, UK. We also have significant manufacturing capabilities in the USA and have recently expanded our capabilities in China. With the recent acquisition of the company by Rexnord, we are able to extend our global reach, especially in the world’s developing economies. “When it comes to power transmission technology Rexnord is clearly a market leader. Our focus in Europe is on the development and manufacture of torque limiters and flexible couplings, clutches and brakes. We are also expanding our capabilities to support the Falk branded enclosed gear drives. Our products span many industries including automotive, petro-chemical, mining, paper, agriculture and cement. Our fastest-growing business segments at the present time are the petro-chem, energy

and mining industries. We have been growing our market share across all our product ranges over the last ten years as part of an overall strategy to provide products globally and services locally.” Mr Blickley added, “We believe that our latest product development initiatives will position us yet further ahead of the field, particularly in the area of flexible disc coupling technology, where our couplings can accommodate the difference in alignment of almost any manufacturing machinery. We are also delivering other high-tech industrial solutions with our Monitorq® system. With the ever-changing powertrain challenges of today, we develop new technology to meet the needs of our customers, whether this is for compressors, conveyors, generators or transport. “We also provide focused training programmes for our customers who require

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Grillet & Partners: your partner for turning and milling Grillet & Partners from Vilvoorde is a specialist in turning and milling. The company consists of a team of five professionals with extensive experience. Manager Michel Grillet and his team can certainly help when it comes to mechanical parts. The company has over 80 years experience in industrial sectors such as the chemical, food and aerospace industries. Grillet & Partners makes customised mechanical parts such as gears, shafts and clutches for machines, pumps, gearboxes etc. Whether the material is metal, plastic or non-ferrous, we can provide the solution. Moreover, we also repair parts for pumps, lifts etc. Owing to our decades of experience we are able to use both old and new techniques. This means we can choose the best method to ensure optimum quality. One of our strengths is our ability to deliver large pieces.

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an increased level of expertise in order to understand the changes in the global industry specifications and materials available for use. We are also involved in much of the cuttingedge technology of the future. For example, we are involved in the development of alternative energy whether that is wind, clean coal or wave energy. In fact, we are able to contribute to any projects that involve ‘rotating’ equipment. I believe that the next new challenge for the world’s manufacturing industries beyond improving the efficiency and reliability of material processing is the storage and distribution of energy, possibly through its conversion to liquefied gas or other technologies currently under development.”

Solutions and savings in action There are countless examples of how Autogard products have enhanced a company’s productivity and at the same time save it large sums of money. One such case involves one of the world’s largest producers of absor-

bent pads used for cleaning up oil spills. Thanks to Autogard, this company was able to increase its production efficiency by more than 50 per cent, thus resulting in savings of almost €100,000 in the first year. This particular situation involved a rotary cutter wheel that

trimmed the material being processed and was being driven by a timing belt and sheave. The problem occurred when the material built up on the blades, eventually causing the cutter to jam and break the belt. At the height of a recent oil spill disaster, the company was required to work 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, in order to meet the demand for its oil-absorbent products. However, the heavy volumes required, caused the conveyor belts to break on a regular basis and when they did, the material continued to pile up on the floor of the factory. This resulted in the material having to be either reprocessed or scrapped altogether. Autogard provided the solution in the form of its Series 400 torque limiter, which was attached to the company’s existing sheave and provided precise disengagement at the required torque before the jam could occur. Since installing the Autogard torque limiter, the customer has experienced huge savings in downtime with a record two years running without a single belt breakage. At the same time, the oil pad manufacturing company enjoyed major savings in production with 50 per cent less scrap being produced. This was in addition to making big savings in labour costs and the replacement of broken belts. n For further information about Autogard’s advanced products and protection systems visit: Industry Europe 191

LEADING IN SENSOR TECHNOLOGY Leading Swiss high-tech company Sensirion is a manufacturer of innovative sensors and it has recently developed and launched the world’s smallest humidity and temperature sensor for smart phones.


ounded 15 years ago in Zurich, Switzerland, high technology company Sensirion has quickly grown to become a leading name in the development of innovative sensors. Creating and manufacturing reliable and high quality humidity and temperature sensors, mass flow controllers, mass flow meters, liquid flow sensors and differential pressure sensors. Sensirion’s sensor components and solutions are used all over the world in their

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millions. It serves a wide range of sectors, including automotive, medical technology, building technology, industrial solutions and consumer goods. The company has enjoyed strong growth in the 15 years since its establishment. Over the past two years alone it has doubled its employee numbers to more than 400 highly skilled workers.

Driven by innovation One of the key driving factors behind this success is Sensirion’s dedication to developing and manufacturing future-focused, high quality and reliable sensors. A recent product launch is a perfect example of how it continues to push the envelope when it comes to creating innovative new products. The new SHTC1 humidity and temperature sensor was developed to meet demand coming from the mobile device industry. Measuring just 2mm x 2mm x 0.8mm it is the world’s smallest sensor in its class. Sensirion already has its sensor models

already integrated into mobile phones. With the latest model Sensirion revolutionises humidity sensing once again. The SHTC1 is based on the company’s proven CMOSens® technology, which combines the sensor and processing electronics on a single silicon chip, allowing it to achieve the tiny device size. The broad experience of Sensirion gives the assurance of proper implementation in all kinds of devices.

More measurement With sales offices in the USA, Germany, Japan, South Korea and China, Sensirion has a solid global presence. Its plans for continued growth include increased sales in both emerging markets and established territories. With the increasing demand for ever more innovative sensor devices, Sensirion is in a strong position to achieve positive growth with its already-established reputation for the precision and reliability of n its products.


ESAB is one of the world’s largest and most experienced manufacturers of welding and cutting equipment and welding filler metals, with a history dating back to 1904. Recognized as the technological leader in the industry, ESAB is committed to providing cost effective solutions for its customers.


ollowing his invention of the covered welding electrode back in 1904, Oscar Kjellberg founded ESAB in Sweden. Since then, the company has constantly improved on existing methods and materials. At the same time, ESAB has developed new methods to meet the challenge presented by technological progress. More than 100 years of continuous research, development and manufacture have made ESAB a world leader in welding, cutting and also an international supplier of products, know-how and services that none can match. Today the company produces consumables and equipment for virtually every welding and cutting process and application in countries across the world.

ESAB serves a global market. The group is organised in the regions Europe, North America, South America, Asia/Pacific and India. It is represented in almost every country by subsidiaries or agents. Sales and support is established in 80 countries and there are 26 manufacturing plants across four continents. The ESAB brand is synonymous with world leading expertise in the following key areas: manual welding and cutting equipment, welding consumables, welding automation and mechanized cutting systems. For each discipline, continuous development of methods, materials and know-how is being directed to meet the challenges posed by a diversity of industry sectors. ESAB serves global customers in industries such as auto-

motive, general fabrication & civil construction, pipelines, pipe mills, power generation, process industry, repair & maintenance, shipbuilding & offshore, transport & mobile machinery.

Global expansion Throughout the last decade ESAB has continued to expand its global operations. In 2005 it acquired the majority of the shares in the South American joint venture Conarco and opened a new cutting factory in China. In the following year it opened a consumables factory in Zhangjiagang, China, and, as the first global company in the steel and welding industries, it implemented and achieved global ISO 14001 certification of a global Environmental Management System.

In 2007 a new sales company was opened in Romania and ESAB acquired ATAS GmbH, a German software solution company. It also acquired the welding & cutting division of Air Liquide Argentina S.A. (stick electrode products) and the Bulgarian stick electrodes manufacturer Electrodes JSC. A new agglomerated flux production facility was also completed at ESAB’s SVEL factory in St. Petersburg, Russia. Then, in 2008, ESAB Holdings Ltd acquired Romar Positioning Equipment Pte Limited, an automation positioning and workpiece handling manufacturer in Asia. In the same year ESAB won the top Frost and Sullivan industry award, the “2008 Global Welding Consumables Customer Service Excellence”. In January 2012 ESAB’s parent company Charter International plc was acquired by Colfax Corporation. Colfax Corporation, based in Fulton MD, USA, is a diversified industrial manufacturing company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Charter International plc resided in Ireland and was the parent of both ESAB and Howden, a premier manufacturer of heavy-duty air and gas handling equipment.

“We are very excited by the future potential and enhanced opportunities that this acquisition will bring to ESAB,” said Clay Kiefaber, Colfax CEO. “Colfax Corporation is a leading manufacturing company with a proven operating system – the Colfax Business System – and is solidly focused on customer needs and the development of strong brands. This is a perfect fit for ESAB, which is a global leader in the welding industry – a position it has attained by building strong partnerships with its customers and by creating a brand that is trusted worldwide.”

Wind energy order Last year ESAB won a major order from Denmark for automation solutions for welding on wind turbine towers. ESAB has been involved in wind generation since its inception. The company’s automation solutions, welding equipment and consumables (welding wire) have been used in the production of more than half the world’s wind turbines. Steel construction company Bladt Industries A/S, fabricates, amongst other things, steel structures for the offshore wind energy sector,

the oil and gas industry and the construction business. ESAB had already delivered eight new Tandem column and booms for multiwire welding, twenty sets of 300 and 400 tons conventional roller beds, five pieces of ESAB A6 powder tractors and retrofit of eight existing Tandem column and booms. The new orders for Bladt Industries included another four sets of ESAB Tandem column and booms. “The order is the single largest in the Nordic region for ESAB automation products and it is exciting to participate in such a large scale project,” said Magnus Andersson, Automation Sales Manager at ESAB in the Nordic region.

New products Continuous improvement and innovation define the future for ESAB, driving breakthrough ideas for technology, products, solutions, and processes. Already in 2013 it has introduced two new high tech cutting machines. The Hydrocut™ LX Waterjet Shape Cutting Machine is the latest version of ESAB’s popular Low-Rail Hydrocut machine. This new Hydrocut LX includes all of the recent

advancements in gantry design and modular assembly that have been used on ESAB’s X series gantry, making it an enhanced replacement for the Hydrocut LR gantry. The Hydrocut LX is a large gantry with a high-stiffness beam design featuring dual precision linear rails and precision rack & pinion drives. The size and strength of this gantry make it ideal for accurate waterjet

cutting over large working areas with multiple process tools. It is widely used throughout heavy manufacturing and fabrication industries when waterjet cutting is required on large plates in harsh environments. The company has also launched the PowerCutTM 700 portable plasma cutting package that is suitable for use on all electrically conductive materials in production,

assembly, repair and maintenance applications. Well balanced and with a convenient, comfortable carrying handle, the PowerCut 700 can be carried easily from one work site to the next, or to exactly where it is needed in the workshop. However, the machine can also be fitted with a CNC interface so that it can be connected n directly to a cutting table.

EXTREME PRECISION Since its establishment in 1954, Bruno Presezzi SpA has grown to being a high-profile engineering, mechanical processing and construction company. Barbara Rossi finds out a little more about the company from its MD, Mr Alberto Presezzi.


espite now being listed on the stock market, the company is still firmly in the hands of the founding family (Mr Alberto Presezzi is the son of Bruno Presezzi, founder of the company). It can count on a staff of 200 people and for 2013 predicts a total production value of €77,000,000. Bruno Presezzi SpA operates from its main site in Burago Molgora (Milan), as well as from two nearby sites in Colnago. The Burago Molgora plant occupies an area of 36,000m2, 9000 of which is covered, while Colnago 1 has an area of 3000m2 and Colnago 2 also covers an area of the same size. As Mr Presezzi tells Industry Europe, “We had a new office building constructed in recent years, which has been designed following innovative concepts to give staff the ability to work together and interact with each other in a different way,

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thus increasing efficiency. The project has been carried out using quality materials, following a ‘green philosophy’, in accordance with the beliefs of the company.” The company mainly carries out projects commissioned by clients and its core business covers three areas, namely aluminium, power and oil and gas. In fact, Bruno Presezzi SpA manufactures its own patented continuous aluminium casting line for aluminium coil production, which it sells to aluminium coil manufacturers all over the world, as well as producing spare parts for the same line in the form of the shells to be mounted on the rolls. The coils produced with the continuous casting line are then laminated and reduced and thus employed in a variety of sectors, ranging from automotive to foil or air-conditioner production.

A wide range of products In terms of the power sector, the company is active in this field by manufacturing components supplied to gas and steam turbine producers, as well as by producing large exhaust casing and turbine rotors. The third core business sector that the company serves, that of oil and gas, is a more recent venture. In fact, as Mr Presezzi explains, “We launched our products for this sector, valves which we have engineered, in June 2011 with a group of highly skilled new staff. We are now fully operational and we supply our valves to both oil companies and contractors which employ them in their extraction, production and transportation processes. In fact, our valves are installed in pipelines, refineries and extraction centres. We also supply equipment for other sectors,

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Via G. Vittorio, 23 T: +39 02.9566025 20060 Vignate (Italy) F: +3902.9567227 P.IVA 11569960153 E:

Metalcam is one of the most important Italian manufacturers of open die forging on high-quality steels. Metalcam has an integrated end to end production cycle that combines in a single site: • Product and process engineering • Steel production according to specific customer needs

• • • •

Forging Heat treatment Machining Quality control

Metalcam offers a wide range of finished products for the following industrial sectors: • Oil & Gas and Petrochemical • Mechanical and Extrusion • Power Generation and Shipbuilding Metalcam S.p.A. I-25043 Breno (BS), via Leonardo da Vinci 3 Phone: +39 0364 238 1 Email: Fax: +39 0364 320 768

apart from the three core areas previously mentioned, that we are able to offer thanks to the fact that we have a very strong technical department. Alongside our speciality machines we offer a strong after-sales service, including a spare parts programme and client training.” As mentioned, the company offers machines and complete units, as well as components, and examples of its products include, as well as the previously mentioned complete continuous casting line, presses, turbine casing, shafts, hot rolls, nozzles, marine pumps, hydraulic valves, steel structures, internal and external cladding, reactors and super alloy constructions. The company is proud of its stock of CNC machines, as well as of its testing department and of the quality guarantee it is able to offer. Recently it has invested in electron beam welding technology. Thanks to this large high-tech machine it will be possible to carry out welding in large dimensions.

Supplying our products all over the world “The power sector is currently our main market, however oil and gas is the fastestgrowing area in terms of the forecast for next year. Geographically we cover different markets, ranging from western Europe, North, Central and South America (Brazil, Argentina and Mexico come to mind in particular), to the Middle East, Russia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Japan, Nigeria and India. Export accounts for over 90 per cent of turnover, further increasing if some of our Italian clients will then export the products for which they use our components is taken into account. “While western Europe and the Middle East are our main geographical markets today, in terms of growth in the near future the markets offering the best forecast are still in the Middle East, but this time alongside Russia. We expect a positive trend in both 2013 and 2014, which I think

is an impressive result in itself in the current economic situation. We’ll carry on investing in quality in terms of staff, as well as in terms of acquiring strategic and latest generation machinery. R&D is important to us and in the last year we have channelled 3 per cent of our turnover into this. The new electron beam technology that we have acquired will have an important role to play in our development, as it opens up possibilities in n welding work of larger dimensions. ”

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IGM Robotersysteme AG is a global leader in the production of customised, tracked and automated robotised welding systems for heavy industry. Philip Yorke talked to Martin Wihsbeck, the company’s marketing manager about its latest innovative robotic products and move into the development of complete, flexible manufacturing systems.


1967 two innovative industrial engineers, Günther Kloimüller and Franz Vokurka established a trading house for marketing welding machines in Austria. Their combined creative technical expertise led them to develop welding robots in the late 1970s. One of these, the Limat 2000, was awarded the Austrian prize for innovation in 1981. By 1992, IGM had set up a global network of sales and service centres with representation in more than 20 countries worldwide. Another landmark was reached when the company opened its new, purpose-built, assembly centre in the industrial park of Győr in Hungary. The company’s reputation throughout heavy industry for innovative, high-quality, welding robot systems has resulted in it

becoming the company of choice in almost every area of industrial welding and cutting operations. This reputation as a specialist for large-scale projects is based upon its steady stream of major contracts from heavy engineering companies since the early 1980s. In fact the company’s special floor track systems of up to 100 metres in length and work piece manipulators with a payload of 25t and more were developed to meet the precise requirements of this sector of industry. Components with larger than usual dimensions such as those found in bridge construction and ship building are manufactured by IGM systems using robotised portal welding units, which are capable of taking components of up to 25 metres in width. IGM’s advanced robotic systems are also used in many other industrial applications, such as in the manufac-

ture of excavators, railway wagons and locomotives, as well as for boiler making and the construction of truck and fork lift components.

Flexible solutions for complex applications Today IGM offers tailor-made, flexible manufacturing systems which provide much more than simply advanced welding technology. These customised constructions involve loading, conveying, stretching, bending and cutting facilities, as well as measuring, manipulating, editing, storing and controlling. For additional production requirements IGM provides handling devices and can develop special-purpose machines. IGM takes care of an entire project from the placing of the order to the final commissioning as a main contractor.

Today, the whole fabrication line including the robotic cells is controlled by a single host computer, with graphic information displays making the monitoring and operation of the production line simple and straightforward. Mr Wihsbeck said, “When clients come to us with their drawings they know that they will be getting added value throughout the entire value-chain. Unlike other robot manufacturers, who choose only to sell the robotic heads, we are capable of supplying complete tailor-made systems. Another key differentiator is the fact that we are a global operating company that is always in close proximity to our customers. “Furthermore, when we arrive in a new market we stay there in order to support and grow with our clients. Yet another bonus for us is the fact that we are headquartered in Austria and this can be a particular advantage in terms of the quality of engineering that our country represents. This is especially true in markets such as Asia and the Far East. “Currently our main growth markets are in earth moving and heat exchanger equipment; however, we are still seeing strong demand in our traditional markets, such as in railways and general construction. Earth moving is certainly the main business driver for us in China, the

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USA, Russia, India and Brazil. We have also developed a new laser camera system to track robots which means that we will be reducing still further our reliance on outsourcing. In fact we are now in a position to be able to develop and supply absolutely everything in-house, from original designs to the software, assembly, testing, installation and commissioning.”

Synchronised laser scanning technology Recently, IGM launched the world’s most compact and efficient laser-scan camera iCAM designed to track different welding seam types for identifying and measuring detected gaps and for compensating volume deviation. This ground-breaking

device is based on the latest synchronised laser-scan technology and features high speed stability, large and programmable work spaces. This is in addition to offering a deep visual range and a special robustness regarding ambient light and reflections. Impassivity against high frequencies and magnetic fields also makes it an ideal choice for arc welding processes, especially as they are carried out in rough environmental conditions. This latest IGM innovative product offers many outstanding features as well as complete integration into the robotic controls. The user also benefits from the wide range of European and Asian languages available in the software package. Following on the heels of the launch of this unique product, IGM recently announced its latest RTi 400 Series of arc-welding robots. This new development was prompted by the demands from customers for a bigger work zone, which initiated the planning for a modular series of welding robots, leading to 6, 7, 8 or even 9 axes-robots comprising several different modules. The new product’s optimal set-up of all system components permits a reduction in transfer time by up to 30 per cent for all construction sizes as well as n numerous other advantages. For further information about IGM’s advanced technology products and services visit:

LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS SHW Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of travelling column milling and turning machines and an internationally renowned specialist in machine processing. SHW WM is a private, independent company – equivalent to a limited company in the UK. Marco Siebel spoke with head of marketing Danny Basic about the plans to keep production entirely in Germany, while expanding its sales to Scandinavia, South America, Asia, Canada and the USA.


HW machine tools are used in a wide variety of sectors - from the automotive industry to machine, mould and plant construction, turbine and tool construction, the aviation industry and job order production. Danny Basic said, “SHW is the oldest industrial company in the world, with a tradition going all the way back to the 14th century. In 1912, SHW was way ahead in the then new car industry: its aluminium made car had brakes on all four wheels, each having individual suspension.” The basis of SHW WM’s expertise, which is surely unique in the industry, is over 70 years of mechanical engineering experience. This year is the 50th anniversary of its universal orthogonal milling head. Among the items its machines produce are large parts for machine and plant construction, for large diesel engines, for turbines and for environmental technology. The SHW WM philosophy guarantees the uncompromising precision and flexibility that customers demand.

Numerous patents Quality is not just created in production, but as early as the development stage: by continuously making technological advances ourselves, the company generates greater

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benefits, more value and, ultimately, increased success for its customers. Numerous SHW WM patents prove how closely bound tradition and innovation actually are for SHW WM and its customers. Danny Basic continues “We also see product and performance as an inseparable unit. What our 250 employees deliver is always a complete package: machine and service, from development to production management, and all from a single source directly from the manufacturer.”

Investments pay off When SHW WM decided to invest €10 million in the construction of a new production facility - representing 1/6th of its annual turnover of around €60 million – the business was proven right: the largest machine ever designed and built by the company was commissioned by a customer from Finland. The PowerForce 8 is an impressive machine (it costs €3.4 million, weights 250 tons, and can take 40m long, 7.1m high and 11m diameter workpieces for machining). It is delivered as standard with the new, continuously adjustable orthogonal milling head, which is equipped with a drive power of up to 90kW and a torque of up to 1.725Nm. Optionally, the PowerForce 8 can

be equipped with substitute milling heads such as a fork head, an off-centre, long or short horizontal milling head, an angle head, a facing and boring head, or an orthogonal milling head with continuously adjustable A axis. The elevating work platform also sets totally new standards in terms of design and implementation with its outstanding vertical travel.

‘Made in Germany’ quality SHW has continuously grown over the course of the years. Together with its international customers it has become an internationally operating company that operates in more than 45 countries around the globe. Even so, SHW remains committed to its German production site in Aalen, a town in central Germany between the business hubs of Stuttgart and Munich. It is in Aalen where 250 dedicated employees have been contributing to the company’s success, and it is here that the family keeps investing in the future. Danny Basic explained, “Our customers have the highest of expectations. We produce in Germany because it is where we have found qualified employees, optimum conditions and like-minded partners with whom we can fulfil these expectations. All of the components that we purchase must also

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fulfil our stringent quality criteria. We prefer to use parts with the ‘Made in Germany’ seal of quality.” Of SHW WM’s turnover, 80 per cent generated outside of Germany. Sales in Europe are notably in neighbouring Austria. Turkey is a growth market as well as the northern countries of Sweden, Finland and Russia. In the east we have India, China and SouthEast Asia, and, across the Atlantic, the USA and Canada, and Brazil.

Sustainability Sustainability is a principle that has been lived and breathed by SHW WM since the very beginning, and that permeates every area of the company. The responsible use of energy is right at the top of the list. As part of its internal energy management SHW operates its own combined heat and power plant, as well as a photovoltaics system. As a result, SHW WM produces 100 per cent of the process electricity that it needs for production. Danny Basic said, “What customers are more and more looking for is energy-efficient machines, and we sell those: 25 per cent less

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energy consumption than the comparable machines means less headaches for our customers who know that we all have to rethink our energy consumption. And so we want to lend a hand and play our part by developing and building energy-efficient machines.”

Creating long-lasting relationships SHW WM has introduced its own energyefficiency standard for its machines, comparable to the German ‘Blue Angel’ label for consumer goods. But a machine is not just sustainable if it has low consumption, it is also sustainable if it remains in use for a long time. The lifetime of a SHW WM machine spans up to 40 years. Designed for the long term: this idea applies more than anything to the relationships that SHW WM builds – both with its own employees and with its customers. The extremely low fluctuation rate shows that this concept works. Many SHW WMers stay with the company right from their apprenticeships through their entire working lives, thereby always increasing the SHW WM know-how and being reliable, expert companions for their customers. This is without doubt one of the reasons why many customers have trusted SHW WM for years, or even decades, and how sustainable and successful partnerships have been formed. n Industry Europe 209

MORE THAN IRON ORE LKAB is a high-tech international minerals group. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at its operation and its recent moves to focus on sustainability.


KAB is one of Sweden’s oldest industrial companies and has been an important player in the country’s export industry for more than a century. The group has continued to succeed because of its ability to respond to the market and to current demand, as well as because of its emphasis on adding value and exceeding expectations. Now the group is focusing on the future again, implementing organisational changes and concentrating on sustainability. This has seen a new unit, with overall responsibility for energy, come together from the start of March 2013, says president and CEO Lars-Eric Aaro. 210 Industry Europe

“With the new organisation, we will concentrate all of our energy efforts in one unit. We can thereby achieve the very high goal we have set,” he says.

A world leader Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) is a high-tech international minerals group, a world-leading producer of processed iron ore products for steelmaking and a growing supplier of mineral products for other industrial sectors. It supplies highly processed iron ore products for blast furnaces and direct reduction services to the steel industry, customised minerals for other industries

and mining products and technologies. Most of its iron ore products are sold to European steelworks but it has other important markets in North Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. Sales of industrial minerals take place chiefly in Europe and to growing markets in Asia and the USA.

A reliable partner The company was founded in 1890 and since then has played the role of reliable supplier and partner to the European steel industry. It built Europe’s first pelletising plant in Malmberget back in 1954 to improve the processing level and add value for its customers.

Today it has large-scale operations in a competitive global market. It is a small producer in terms of volumes but it is one of the world’s leading process exponents and the world’s second largest producer of iron ore pellets. Other industrial minerals have been added to its product portfolio alongside the rich, high-grade iron ore from the north.

Long-tem collaboration In 2012, LKAB’s production and shipments reached record high levels in the fourth quarter, while lower iron ore prices

had a negative impact its sales and earnings. The global supply of iron ore increased slightly during the year due to increased capacity in Australia but steel producers in Europe are still producing at reduced capacity. Long-term demand for iron ore, however, is expected to continue to be strong. The group has just signed a seven-year purchase agreement with Emirates Steel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for delivery of one million tonnes of direct reduction pellets per year. Emirates Steel, a new customer for LKAB, is investing aggressively

in the latest technology to become a major steel producer in the Middle East. “This agreement confirms that our products meet high demands on quality internationally. We are very pleased to be able to support the development of Emirates Steels via long-term delivery and collaboration,” says Mr Aaro. Emirates Steel is the largest steel producer in The United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company, which was formed in 1998, uses the latest technology in the manufacture of steel products for the construction market in UAE and the Middle East. It buys

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DR pellets from LKAB. This is a functional iron ore product that is specially adapted for steelmaking via the direct reduction route. In the direct reduction process natural gas is used, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

Improvements for growth

The move underlines LKAB’s ability to respond to customer requirements. Mr Aaro believes the reorganisation of the group will also strengthen its platform for the future. With the aim of reducing energy use, climate impact and energy costs, the new unit, with overall responsibility for energy in LKAB, will be overseen by Anders Kitok, most recently senior vice-president of the mining division. The mining division will now include the logistics function, which entails total responsibility from mine to customer. Markus Petäjäniemi, most recently senior vice-president of logistics and sales, will assume the position of senior vice-president of mining. The sales division will be a purely sales and marketing oriented organisation, and will be temporarily headed by Mr Aaro. “By once again placing logistics under mining we will consolidate overall responsibility from mine to customer,” he adds. “This will improve our cost efficiency even more.” n 212 Industry Europe

MEETING ALL REFRACTORY NEEDS With 35 per cent of the Italian refractory market, SANAC SpA is an industry leader at national level, as well as being a successful exporter, as Barbara Rossi finds out. Quality, price and immediate delivery of products are the differentiating factors working in the company’s favour.


ANAC (Società Anonima Nazionale Argille e Caolini) SpA has been working in the refractory field since 1939, having been established as a state-owned minerals company by IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale) in Sardinia. The company was privatised in 1995 and today belongs to the Riva Group. With its wide range of products the company practically covers the totality of refractory applications. It operates from

four sites, all based in Italy, and has a production output of about 200,000 tons a year, a yearly turnover of €150 million and 400 employees. It manufactures a wide range of the refractory products necessary for plant construction, maintenance and operation in a variety of sectors, ranging from steel, pig-iron, non-ferrous metals and glass, to cement, lime, ceramics, petrochemical, chemical, chimneys, boilers and incinerators.

One of the company’s works is located in Sardinia, while the other three are based in northern Italy. The Gattinara site, north-western Italy, specialises in the production of aluminous fired and chemically bonded bricks, basic resin bonded fired bricks, aluminous and basic unshaped materials, products for bottom casting, zirconia spouts and special pieces. The Sardinian plant, Grogastu, also manufactures aluminous fired and chemically bonded bricks, alongside Al2O3-SiC-C, Al2O3-MgO-C and

basic fired bricks; while the works in Massa, northern Tuscany, specialises in resin bonded MgO-C bricks, basic unshaped materials, purging plugs, tap-hole blocks and rings, and sliding gate plates. The facility in Vado Ligure, west of Genoa, as well as manufacturing monolithic alumina and thixotropic materials, pre-shaped aluminous products and lances, and purging systems, also houses the sales and the project departments, the research and development laboratory, technical assistance and quality assurance.

Tailor-made solutions SANAC is totally aware of the fact that there isn’t a single refractory which can represent a standard ideal solution; every customer has different needs, even for similar production processes. SANAC is able to produce a wide range of products, thanks to its capacity to manage different new materials, resulting in the obtaining of the right mix for the production of tailor-made refractories fulfilling any customer request.

30 per cent of production is for export, reaching several countries in the world. In Europe, the company exports to Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey, while countries served in other continents include Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Algeria, Tunisia and Taiwan. SANAC invests 2/3 per cent of its annual turnover in R&D on a yearly basis. This is because, especially due to the advances achieved in the last few years in terms of industrial process developments, there has been an ensuing demand for increasingly sophisticated quality materials. In order to be at the cutting-edge and ready to fully respond to market demand for innovative products, not only does SANAC have individual laboratories at each of its plants, for production checking and testing, covering all stages from raw materials to finished products, but it can also avail itself of a central research laboratory at its Vado Ligure site. Thanks to the fact that this laboratory possesses the most mod-

ern instruments suitable for most sectors’ technological requirements, the company can carry out its activity in applied research, new products manufacturing and development, improvement of existing products and relevant manufacturing processes. A whole range of test are carried out here, including boron content in magnesite by colorimetry, permeability, granulometry, rupture modulus, compressive strength, density, total and apparent porosity, hydration resistance, thermal resistance in water or air, thermal conductivity, soluble tar content, unshaped setting time, unshaped workability, thixo and self-flowing vibration time, ramming and plastics workability, and slag or fused metals attack resistance. The company is engaged in researching sources of European raw materials which could be used in the refractory process and is experimenting with supplies from Russia. The company came to this decision because it expects that China, a major supplier of these products, will shortly be unable to perform this function,

Premier Periclase Ltd Premier Periclase Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of RHI AG is a manufacturer of high grade Seawater Magnesia, in Drogheda, Ireland exporting Magnesia products worldwide. Our unique “Large crystal” Dead Burned Magnesia product is mainly used in the manufacture of Refractory linings for the Steel, Glass, Cement and Non Ferrous Industries. Linings containing our Large Crystal Magnesia continuously show impressive results in the most severe wear areas of Steel convertors, ladles and other appliances exposed to extremely high temperatures. Our Magnesium oxide powder “TechMag” is suitable for high activity use in Agricultural, Chemical. Industrial and Environment applications. Our Magnesim Hydroxide “ECOMAG” is an aqueous suspension and a cost effective means of neutralising and removing heavy metals in waste water streams.

due to its own increasing internal demand. In fact, apart from dolomite, quartz and some types of clay, and despite the existence of plants engaged in the extraction of magnesite from sea water, Italy is not rich in raw materials for refractory production, hence they have to be imported. Another priority in terms of investments is improvement in safety and environmental standards, achieved through the implementa-

tion of technology; alongside this there is a regular updating of the machinery used for production at the different sites. The experience and business insight accrued over the years represent real assets for SANAC in the current difficult economic climate. Another asset at its disposal is its technical assistance office, which is a real benefit to clients, as it fulfils tasks which were once carried out by the customers themselves,

but which nowadays they may have difficulty in performing due to the reduction of staff levels in the iron and steel industry. SANAC’s ability to provide this service offers a saving in manpower costs for its clients. Furthermore, SANAC keeps a full stock of refractory materials, a fact of extreme importance because it guarantees quick deliveries at a time when the majority of clients no longer wish to keep a n warehouse or stock of goods.

DANIELI AUTOMATION SPA: QUANTITY, QUALITY AND QUICKNESS Danieli Automation SpA is headquartered in Buttrio, in the province of Udine, where since 1969 it has given its impressive contribution to the steel industry, starting off with sensors up to the technological innovations of the modern day.

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anieli Automation provides process automation systems and control systems for the metals industry. The company designs and supplies complete electrical power and distribution systems, turnkey equipment for the steel industry and engineering solutions. Mr Plazzogna, vice-president sales and marketing of Danieli Automation said: “We started more than forty years ago with the production of sensors. As years went by, we built more and more sophisticated systems to introduce automation to the plants, specifically in rolling mills and steelworks. Danieli Automation is now a system integrator that provides turnkey solutions and specialises in automation systems for equipment control, process control and production management. We have a technological know-how that has made us a leader in this field.”

Products and applications Process control systems for steelmaking and rolling are designed to support the production of high-quality steel, minimising the consumption of energy, raw materials and manpower. Those process control systems allow consistent, repeatable and safe operations. Today, the most innovative solutions are offered together with up-to-date expertise in process model-

ling, from direct reduction plants and scrapyard through primary and secondary metallurgy to final cast products and from cast products to long and flat hot and cold rolled final products. “Our core business consists of automation systems for process control but we can also provide production management tools with our manufacturing execution system named Q3MET, along with business intelligence dedicated to metals, called Q3Intelligence, which can give extraordinary support to improve industrial results for our customers.” Q3Intelligence, through sophisticated components and industry specific analysis, allows plant managers, production or quality managers to analyse data in depth and from different perspectives, summarising it into useful information, without the need of any special skill or the support of IT experts. Mr Plazzogna added: “Danieli Automation also produces special instruments for the steel industry and has recently successfully launched a new laser profile gauge, the HiPROFILE LITE, dedicated to small products and rebar, with minimum media requirement. Our range of HiPROFILEs is now fit for measuring in real time the profile of all products and sections from 5.5mm rebar to 1200mm beams.”

Geographical presence and markets “Our industry of reference is the metals industry. We operate on a global level with the 95 per cent of our turnover deriving from international markets,” said the VP Sales. “Our main markets are the MENA region, China, India and Russia. These are the most profitable markets today, but we operate wherever the economy is dynamic and promising. To guarantee prompt solutions Danieli Automation has customer support centres worldwide where our clients can receive assistance in real time.” Global Services is a department within Danieli Automation dedicated to worldwide support for all customers, providing assistance with automation systems and electrical parts for steel-making plants. Thanks to this service, skilled personnel can provide prompt assistance to help resolve critical situations, also with the E-Service, the 24/24 remote assistance on the web. Danieli Automation constantly invests in R&D activities and is currently researching, among other technical fields, highly advanced robotics applications for the steel industry. The knowledge it has gained over the years has led to the development of anthropomorphic robots which are supIndustry Europe 217

National Instruments National Instruments is a supplier and partner of Danieli Automation for embedded monitoring and control applications. “The adoption of National Instruments CompactRIO Programmable Automation Controller technology has allowed Danieli Automation to have at its disposal an embedded system for the most advanced control and cutting edge industrial automation. The system features, such as measurement accuracy and programming flexibility, possible thanks to the NI LabVIEW software design system, have significantly reduced development times, guaranteeing the required performance, which other embedded systems had not been able to ensure.” - D. Onesti / M. Tairol, DANIELI AUTOMATION

ported by vision and artificial intelligence systems that allow them to be employed for repetitive and dangerous operations.

3Q: Quality, Quantity and Quickness “Our systems are based on the 3Q concept: Quality, Quantity and Quickness. These are our main targets which are focused on satisfying our customers’ needs and requirements. The 3Q concept is also the basis of our products development and update programme,” explained Mr Plazzogna. One of the aims of these automation systems is to assist customers in producing quality products, ensuring continuous monitoring and providing quality 218 Industry Europe

Elettromil is supplying worldwide with 30 years experience on power electronic, railway, windmills, solar plants, telecommunications, naval and everywhere it is required to shape or adapt voltages and currents. With transformers and reactors, from 1 kVA to 2 MVA, on low and medium voltage application (up to a rated voltage of 7.2 kV), using dry type technology, Elettromil is able to satisfy all customer’s requirements. More than 30 winding machines and certified special processes are available to optimise the product according to the customer request using first quality raw materials and special technical solutions. Elettromil is certified to ISO 9001, IRIS, UL (registered insulation system) and it’s working according to several international standard (IEC, NF, UNI, EN, DIN, GOST, RINA,...).

certification of the end product with high yield and a low OPEX (Operative EXpenditure) in steelmaking and rolling plants. “This translates into competitiveness, access to new markets, reputation and improved margins. Before, it was the operator who could make the difference; now, thanks to the knowledge-based approach applied to our systems, the 3 Qs are guaranteed regardless of the operator as the know-how is contained in the software. The iSTAND, the intelligent training and testing platform with 3D process simulation, reflects our vision of the state-of-the-art control pulpit. There are no pushbuttons and control

Elettromil S.r.l. Phone: +39.0759680310 Fax: +39.0759680309 E-mail: Website:

systems assisting the operator in the various process phases, showing only the KPI (key peformance indexes) on screens and maximising the company’s knowledge repository.”

Future goals “We will focus more and more on the development and design of innovative technology introducing solutions that facilitate the work of our customers,” stated Mr Plazzogna. “Up to 20 years ago, automation was limited to few functions and almost an optional. Today it has become a necessity that gives our customers that additional margin that helps n make the difference in the market.” Industry Europe 219

PUTTING A GLOSS ON IT Athlone Extrusions is known for its thermoplastic sheet products. As it launches its new Durogloss range, Abigail Saltmarsh looks at the company.

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a leading European manufacturer of thermoplastic sheet and film products, with more than 40 years experience, Athlone Extrusions is known for its innovation. The company has a reputation for its ranges of polystyrene, ABS and PMMA/ABS, which have a broad array of applications in industries ranging from automotive through to sanitaryware. Now, as sales and marketing manager Robert Kearney and commercial manager Adrian Dickson explain, the Ireland-based operation is starting to make waves with Durogloss, a co-extruded ABS/PMMA sheet for the furniture industry. “This is a very high end, high gloss product, which cannot afford to have any blemishes on it at all, and we are able to produce it to the very highest standards required,” says Mr Dickson. “We only have a limited number of competitors in the world in this area and we are finding that it is already being very well received.”

Growing markets At its facility in Athlone, Ireland, the privately owned company employs approximately 140 people and runs 14 extrusion lines and

an in-house colouring compound. It has a production capacity of some 30,000 tonnes. “We have these three main groups of products and within those we have subgroups,” explains Mr Kearney. “We produce about 500 tonnes a week for a worldwide customer base.” About 45 per cent of the company’s turnover is generated through its sales in its main market of the UK but it has more than 600 customers across 40 countries. Potential for growth has been identified in Turkey, the BRIC countries and South Africa. “India is a huge growth market,” he adds. “There is a demand for products at the high end of the market and where there is added value, especially for products from Europe.”

Reputation in polystyrene In polystyrene, Athlone Extrusion’s products include a range of options which are used for applications from point of sale and packaging through to bath panels. UV stabilised polystyrene can be used for the likes of outdoor advertising or phone or radio masts. GPPS or general purpose polystyrene is a clear low impact product available in crystal clear or colour tints in smooth and

embossed patterns. It is not readily vacuumformed and is most commonly used in secondary glazing applications and in the fabrication industry where it acts as a more economic alternative to PMMA (acrylic), SAN, PET and other clear polymers. High impact polystyrene (HIPS) is a rubber modified version of GPPS. This polymer offers much higher impact strengths and is easily vacuum-formed. It exhibits great versatility and provides a low-cost route to the moulding of a diversity of products in a multitude of industry sectors.

Internal and external In ABS, Athlone Extrusion again produces the full spectrum, from recycled ABS through to super high impact ABS. Applications include the likes of instrument cases, automotive interior trim, machine housings and signage. Foil-laminated ABS is manufactured for use in end products requiring a decorative finish, as well as door panels. “In PMMA/ABS, we have our Durosan and Durosun ranges,” explains Mr Kearney. “These have internal and external applications, such as sanitaryware and body panels for construction and agricultural machinery.”

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Opportunity for high gloss But it is Durogloss that is currently causing such excitement at Athlone Extrusions and across its customer base. This co-extruded ABS/PMMA sheet has been developed by the innovative research and development division specifically for the furniture industry in which its inherent high gloss and scratch resistance is complemented by the company’s renowned colour matching ability. Durogloss is available in sheet or reel configurations. Acrylic foils are flat-laminated to 222 Industry Europe

either MDF or chipboard panels using specially formulated hot-melt PUR adhesives and find their way on to kitchen cabinets, wardrobe doors and bathroom furniture etc. The product is UV stable, allowing it to be installed in areas of direct sunlight without risk of long-term damage. “We started development on this about two years ago after realising there was a growing market for it, brought about by the likes of IKEA and other companies that were selling kitchen and other furniture

products in high gloss,” says Mr Dickson. “With our existing competencies and technologies, we saw an opportunity in the market.”

A market leader By the end of 2013, Athlone will have invested some £1.5 million in the production of Durogloss. Existing machinery has been upgraded to required standards, the plant building itself has been improved and staff have been taken through programmes.

The company continues to develop its other product ranges too – including a specialist ABS/TPU – and is aiming for approximately 10 per cent growth every year for the next five years. “Traditionally, we have grown organically in the past and we do have existing capacity for where we are now but now we are thinking more about acquisition and, long-term, the benefits of moving into a new purpose-built facility,” said Mr Dickson. “We need to think about where our customers are and where we can serve them most efficiently from. “We would, however, always have a production facility in Ireland. We are proud of the flexibility and quality we can offer from here and hope to continue to grow profitably as we introduce more innovative products and continue to be seen as a n market leader.”

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Today’s rail passengers want it all – sustainable solutions that deliver speed, efficiency, comfort and convenience. Bombardier is showcasing the newest, smartest mass transit, freight transport and e-mobility technologies for fast-growing urban areas as well as for longer journeys.


ombardier Transportation is a global leader in the railway industry and delivers complete transportation solutions including platform and modular technology designed for urban and mainline operations combined with a comprehensive portfolio of rolling stock, propulsion and control systems, and services for vehicle modernisation and maintenance. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, the company at present operates 64 production

and/or engineering sites as well as 19 service centres in 27 countries, with over 100,000 vehicles in operation worldwide. The company’s two production sites in Hungary are key components of the European operation. The refurbishing plant in Dunakeszi revamps and modernises older-generation passenger rail cars, coaches and car transport freight wagons whilst the Mátranovák site manufactures a full range of bogie frames for light trams and trains to heavy locomotives.

The newest generation of mobility solutions Bombardier has focused their portfolio around four pillars: sustainable transport, high-speed journey, urban flow and passenger comfort. Today only intelligent, efficient and ecofriendly solutions are sustainable modes of transport. Bombardier’s newest generation of FLEXITY 2 trams, TRAXX platform locomotives, energy-saving ECO4 technologies

and their innovative PRIMOVE e-mobility solutions all fulfil these requirements. High capacity, dynamic and fast performance are equally important. The TWINDEXX Express double-deck intercity trains ramp up both capacity and speed with advanced FLEXX Tronic WAKO bogie technology for accelerating quicker through curves. And for a new sense of very high speed, look no further than the groundbreaking ZEFIRO technology and advanced MITRAC propulsion and FLEXX Speed bogie. For shorter headways and more frequent service, Bombardier’s proven CITYFLO signalling and rail control systems are

ideal. The next-generation of INNOVIA fully automated driverless solutions – monorails, automated people movers and metros – speed up journeys to and from city centres, congested urban areas and at airports. Seamless connectivity between modes of transport enhances quality of life, letting you travel from home to work, even to the airport, comfortably and enjoyably. Technology that delivers a smooth, quiet ride. Sleek, spacious interiors equipped for both work and play. And fleet management services that ensure unparalleled availability. At Bombardier Transportation, they call it ‘The Evolution of Mobility’.

Latest developments One of Bombardier’s latest developments, the ZEFIRO high speed train family is the culmination of the company’s long-standing reputation in this market segment. Developed for speeds between 250 and 380 km/h, ZEFIRO offers the highest levels of comfort and capacity, low operating costs and diverse application options for different countries and railway networks. Following the success of the ZEFIRO 250 sleeper trains in China, the Chinese Ministry of Railways (MOR) placed an additional order for 40 high-speed trains in July 2010, this time for a non-sleeper version. In September 2009, BST also won another groundbreaking

contract to supply the MOR with 80 ZEFIRO 380 (1,120 cars) very high speed trains. One year later, in September 2010, Bombardier has been awarded a contract to deliver 50 V300ZEFIRO trainsets, a model of the BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO high speed family, to Trenitalia (Italian Railways). The V300ZEFIRO is being developed with a strategic partner and

has a service speed of up to 360 km/h. The ground-breaking FLEXX Tronic WAKO system is the newest development in Bombardier’s FLEXX Tronic platform. It builds on the company’s 20 years of experience with active suspension technology. FLEXX Tronic WAKO technology enables higher speeds with increased passenger

comfort on curved tracks. This innovative mechatronic solution compensates for a train car body’s natural roll movement. In this way, it overcomes the limitations of conventional bogies such as passive steering and suspension components. Integrated into the existing secondary suspension, this innovative system compen-

sates for the car body’s natural roll movement. It increases curve speeds by up to 15 per cent, reducing both travel times and infrastructure investment. “The state-of-the-art TWINDEXX doubledeck trains that we deliver to the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will incorporate this technology,” confirms Mr Kurt Lievens, managing director of Bombardier Transportation Hungary. “Two prototype bogies equipped with the FLEXX Tronic WAKO system passed static tests and are currently undergoing dynamic tests while running on SBB lines.”

Strong vision Mr Lievens shares Bombardier’s strong vision for the future of the company: “Bombardier is exploring the business of electric mobility further, as we strongly believe that e-mobility represents the future for all types of ground-based transportation. This does not imply that Bombardier will start manufacturing buses, or any other type of non-rail vehicles, but this new e-mobility technology will be commercialised beyond the rail industry. Commercial operation for buses is due to start at the beginning of 2013. We have signed a first agreement for commercial operation with the city of Braunschweig,

Germany. For trams, we are currently offering this technology in our bids. “The Evolution of Mobility is the future of mobility. We are showcasing the newest, smartest mass transit, freight transport and e-mobility technologies for fast-growing urban areas and longer journeys, too. Delivering what forward-looking cities, countries and operators need today – sustainable intercon-

nected mobility that gets you where you need to go, efficiently and comfortably – best-fit mobility solutions that overcome crippling traffic, restore freedom of movement and help cities breathe worldwide. From monorails and metro systems, to double deck vehicles, very high speed trains and next-generation solutions for electric and diesel locomotives – our n newest products are ready now.”

COMBINED EXCELLENCE IN CONTAINER SERVICES Contargo Waterway Logistics is the market leader in the integrated barge container services sector. Philip Yorke spoke to Marcel Hulsker, the company’s managing director, about the recent merger between Contargo BV and Rhinecontainer BV and how this new force brings together significant benefits for customers in terms of scale, logistics and service diversity.


hinecontainer BV was founded in Rotterdam in 1978. Combined Container Services was founded in 1976 and merged with Interfeeder to Contargo BV in 2006. On 31 December 2012 Contargo BV and Rhinecontainer BV merged to Contargo Waterway Logistics BV, the barge operator of the Contargo Trimodal Network and subsidiary of Contargo GmbH & Co.KG (Contargo in short). Through its commitment to optimising customer services and a wide range of container services, Contargo has grown to become the leading Europe’s foremost hinterland logistics network. With an annual throughput of more than 1.6 million TEU and 25 trimodal terminals, Contargo leads the field in integrated container transport solutions between the western

seaports, Germany’s North Sea ports and the European hinterland. Contargo’s diverse trimodal network concept is comprised of three main components: the company’s own terminals as nodal points, its fleet of barge and rail transport vehicles as interconnectors and its highly efficient order processing by central and decentralised customer service organisations. This well-proven concept makes Contargo the partner of choice for sea carriers, forwarders, shippers and consignees as well as all other players throughout the intermodal logistics chain in Europe. Contargo also operates container depots and interim storage facilities at its various trimodal terminals and offers a wide range of container services to its customers. These include the

local collection and delivery of containers by truck, as well as full maintenance and repair services, stuffing and stripping. The company combines the advantages of its three main transport modes of inland navigation, rail transportation and trucking, and offers fixed routes and frequent scheduled departures, resulting in fast, reliable and efficient containerised transportation. In addition, Contargo provides integrated processes and advanced IT systems to ensure optimal throughput of containers as well as smooth handling between its barges, railways and trucks. Contargo is present in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland and all document processing is handled in-house by the company as a standard, dedicated service.

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Software for transport, storage and handling of containers Modality Software solutions b.v. | Oslo 3, 2993 LD Barendrecht Tel.: +31 (0)180 531035 | Fax: +31 (0)180 613790 | E-mail:

New merger extends customer services and terminal network August 2011 Contargo’s parent company Rhenus Logistics bought 3 divisions of Wincanton Plc. which operated on the European continent. Rhinecontainer (75 per cent) and 7 trimodal terminals were comprised in the intermodal division. By the end of April 2012 Rhenus bought the remaining 25 per cent Rhinecontainer shares and subsequently added the 7 trimodal terminals to the Contargo Trimodal Network as well as merged the mentioned 2 barge operators to Contargo Waterway Logistics. Contargo GmbH and Co.KG (Contargo in short) is the intermodal container services company of Rhenus Logistics. The merger has extended the European coverage of Contargo to 25 inland terminals thus offering a unique combination of modern European facilities to customers. Mr Hulsker commented, “Contargo Waterway Logistics” is now a brand new company, but it remains very much a customer orientated, solutions-focused business which resonates with the familiar personal approach. This is a particularly timely move for us as the new APM Terminal-2 and Rotterdam World Gateway Terminal being constructed at Maasvlakte-2 in Rotterdam, as well as the ever-expanding ECT/Euromax facilities at Maasvlakte-1, present many new challenges. The Maasvlakte area will cater for much larger sea vessels of 18,000 TEU+ capacity. Furthermore, Rotterdam offers significant geographical benefits to all shippers and forwarders. As

far as the foreseeable future is concerned we will continue to see organic growth of around 5 per cent. However, we will continue to invest in upgrading our depots and expanding our range of customer services to provide a full, one-stop-shop continental package.”

Safety and solutions focus Contargo has an enviable record when it comes to safety, and takes its responsibilities very seriously in this respect. The modern challenges that new regulations represent require a culture of care and dedication. In fact, most of Contargo’s barges are constructed with double hulls to ensure a high degree of safety for both goods in transit and the environment. In addition, all personnel are required to identify consistently with their individual tasks to meet the goal of zero errors completely and all controllers, drivers and other staff members undergo training to familiarise themselves with the latest standards and safety techniques. In addition, a strong IT system supports all aspects of the company’s activities and Contargo’s Intermodal Tariff System IMTIS identifies the most environmentally friendly transport routes with the lowest CO2 emissions, which are tailored to its customers’ needs. When it comes to exceptional transport challenges, Contargo’s team of experts are proficient in dealing with unusual consignments and all related aspects. This includes delivering optimal solutions whether the consignment requires special treatment, or involves several different Contargo terminals,

or the blanket handling of larger-scale orders. Mr Hulsker said, “What we offer is a personal approach based on many years of expertise in the integrated container services business. We work closely with our partners, shipping lines, forwarders, shippers and consignees and barge owners to achieve optimal outcomes for our customers. Our unique spread of facilities means that we have an infinite range of options available to them, which enables us to respond quickly and efficiently. There are several players who currently provide regular line services, but we are different in that we offer dedicated, tailor-made services. So when there is a lot of congestion in the ports we do it the other way round to them. If you give us a fixed window we will ensure that we consolidate the containers at the European terminals on one instead of two barge combinations and therefore fulfil the requirements in a very reliable and efficient way to provide the best solution. “Thinking like a train, we can offer punctual, point-to-point services. So, for example, when there is a call to get containers from Rotterdam to Antwerp we can deliver them by barge via our Benelux service with brand name Transbox, when the customer requires long distance direct container haulage, then we can offer the most efficient solution for that order too. We are very much a solutions-focused business that offers a broad, dedicated, cost-effective service and our success is based upon that of our clients, for it is they that continue to recommend us to other forwarders and shippers.” n

SPECIALISTS IN SOUND After a couple of difficult years shared by most other Italian companies, the future looks bright for audio systems specialist ASK, as Barbara Rossi finds out from Mr Bianchi, the company’s business development manager.


SK was established by three smallmedium companies cooperating with each other: Sipe, Autosonik and Zendar. Initially the link between the three was of a strictly commercial nature, but then in the 1990s, at the request of common clients, as well as thanks to the vision of the then two CEOs, Mr Tontini and Mr Paterlini, the companies decided to reinforce their collaboration and unify their strengths, thus forming a single group. “This is what has generated the unusual combination of different product lines, which although belonging to the “infotainement” area, are not contiguous. In fact, we are specialised in both transmission (radio frequency antennas and wires) and audio systems,” explains Mr Bianchi. “Over the years these two divisions have shared resources in terms of management and basic structure, but they have also become strongly specialised and have put down firm roots where they could better develop thanks to the availability of specialists and know-how, with audio having found a home in Ancona (central Italy), DPS/electronics in Germany, and antennas in Reggio Emilia (northern Italy). We can proudly say that today ASK is among the very top companies specialised in top performance audio systems design and manufacturing, which it completely develops in-house for the audio sector 232 Industry Europe

(loudspeaker), as well as for electronics and proprietary algorithm-based sound processing software (DSP).” An open and flexible business model has allowed the company to reach an excellent international position in the top automotive sound system field - for instance they have collaborated with the biggest worldwide Hi Fi and automotive companies, leading Companies at international levels for both auto and home products – while at the same time not losing sight of new markets and technologies. ASK is fully aware of the know-how and added value that it can offer to partners, or even competitors, and it is ready to build synergies able to bring economic advantages to both parties, but first and foremost to the final client. Important local partnerships have been set up with universities: Parma for acoustics, Ancona for electronics and Florence for radio frequencies; ASK also collaborates with Chinese universities such as Xian and Nanjing. “In some cases, ASK has established a strong and direct presence in local markets, those where industrial investments are prevalent – for instance Brazil, where we are market leaders, and China where with our two sites we are important players – while in other settings we collaborate with local partners, as we do for instance in India where for some time now

we have been supplying clients, achieving a presence on the transmission market currently covering 80 per cent of local manufacturers. Furthermore, in 2012, we re-established our presence in the USA (Detroit), while we can say that our strategy of production localisation undergoes a continuous analysis and is re-defined every two to three years. ASK has always viewed emerging market countries not merely as a potential for low cost production, but also as a source of skilled human resources (engineers in particular); this is exemplified by the very advanced lines for the production of high transmission data wires used for video and general data (HSD).” Important investments have also been made in China, so as to support the growth of the Asian market, and these will guarantee ASK the Hi Tech status bestowed by Chinese Government Bodies in 2013. Our Chinese investments have amounted to a new plant in the north of the country, as well as the expansion of our current site to 10,000m2, with 1000m2 dedicated to R&D. Alongside this, there is also an important antenna measurement site developed in partnership with local bodies. Another important investment was made towards the end of 2010/beginning of 2011, with the start up of a new plant in Tunisia focused on wire and antenna transmission production.

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Mi Comp di Sanavio A. & C. S.N.C. | Via Piovego 14 Prima Strada, 35010 Arsego di S.Giorgio delle Pertiche (PD), Italy Phone: +39/049/9330069-9330070 | Fax: +39/049/933071 | E-mail:

Mi Comp is a leading Italian manufacturer of small parts and components for electrical connections on printed circuits and for general purposes. We produce: • fastons for C.S. • fuse holders for 5 x 20 fuses • male/female connectors • coaxial connectors • strips with contacts for loudspeakers • contact pins • customised connectors /connections and items Our clients include such major players as: Elvox, Inarca, I Guzzini, BPT, FAAC, ASK, Meta System, Claber, Richco, Keystone, Flextronix, Jabil, Omega Fusibili, DeLonghi, Fadini, Merloni, Riello, Candy and FAGOR. We invite you to view our catalogue on our website

As one of the leading manufactures for voice coil in the world, Po Yun has dedicated in this industry more than 30 years. With headquarter in Dongguan China, it equips 3 facilities with 8500 employees and 300 production lines. In 2012, the 4th facility of Po Yun was set up in Vietnam that keeps the customers with more flexibility on supplier chain management. Po Yun serves a large group of famous brands covering Asia, Europe, US and Mid East with the following supports: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Consistent Quality Innovative Technology Competitive Price On Time Delivery Immediate Service Active support

With various certificates e.g. TS16949, ISO9001, ISO14001, Po Yun guarantees the product delivered to customers are in conformity with EU RoHs environmental requirenments. Dongguan Po Yun Electronic Co., Ltd: Dong Guan, Guang Dong Province, China. Tel: +86-769-83720950 Shanghai Po Yun Electronic Co., Ltd: Jia Ding District, Shanghai, China. Tel: +86-21-39533322 Vietnam Po Yun Electronic Co., Ltd: Hai Duong Province, Vietnam. Tel: +84-3203-561196 Business Contact: Walter Lee E-mail: Website:

234 Industry Europe

Believers in values “Our company culture is transmitted at local level in terms of values. A ‘heavy’ local team is always present in our foreign companies; in China, for example, all the first-level management, including a general manager, are local and have ‘grown’ in the company since 2006... something which is not easily achievable in a market with such strong salary and ‘role’ inflation, but essential to ensure a continuing presence in the future. “ “Today’s market trends, with continuing market turbulence and the currently shifting centre of gravity of the automotive sector, make us choose a local production path (China for Asia, Brazil for South America, Poland for Europe, and Italy for Italy) whenever possible because this model allows us to increase our client “service” level, providing the ‘just-in-time’ and flexible supplies demanded by the market. Another reason pushing us in this direction is our aim of maintaining resources at local level as far as possible (Poland for Poland, China for China and so on). This increases the satisfaction level of all the stakeholders and makes our company more solid and well-rooted, even if sometimes it can cause the loss of a few percentage points in terms of profit.” After three rather difficult years the ASK growth plan forecasts a 20/25 per cent yearly growth for at least 2 or 3 years, already consolidated in terms of order portfolio.

transmission in general. At the beginning of 2008 the ASK management recognised the strategic importance of setting up a department focused on advanced research, mainly targeted at the development of ANC, Active Noise Control) and AVC, Active Vibration Control systems, in addition to the development of non-conventional loudspeakers and audio systems, and loudspeakers able to survive in extreme conditions in hostile environments. These activities have led the company to register five patents, two concerning ANC systems applied to kitchen extractor fans and three regarding tape and vibration-based acoustic transducers. The actively silenced kitchen extractor fan prototype manufactured by the company has a residual noise level which is well below that of any other extractor fan currently on the market with a similar performance

(speed/ air load). In the architectonic sector particular interest has been raised by vibration based transducers (magnetostrictive or magnetodynamic shakers) due to their ability to produce ‘sound’ when vibrating, on a large variety of surfaces (walls, glass, furniture and others), while remaining completely invisible. Tape transducers were presented at the latest edition of ‘My Yacht’, where they were strongly appreciated for their mechanical and acoustic features, as they clearly offer a higher performance than traditional systems, with an extremely reduced thickness (a depth of only 4 cm). “The results achieved in areas which are currently considered highly sensitive have allowed us to initiate numerous collaborations with leading partners in their field of expertise, ranging across a number of sectors,” Mr Bianchi concludes. n

Advanced research The growing importance of on board comfort, entertainment and full connectivity is a significant push for ASK both in audio and in signal Industry Europe 235

THE HEART OF THE HOME Norwegian company Jøtul has earned its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of cast iron stoves and fireplaces through continual development and a passion for making high quality products.


stablished in Norway in 1853, Jøtul has gained a reputation for quality with its manufacture of cast iron stoves and fireplaces under the respected Jøtul brand. As the world’s leading manufacturer in its field, Jøtul has added the sheet steel based stoves and fireplace brands Scan and Atra to its offering, with each meeting a particular need in the market. The Jøtul Group is exceptionally wellplaced to deliver a suitable product for various target markets. It has both modern and classic designs, all manufactured with high quality

craftsmanship to ensure they meet the longlasting, high quality demands the Jøtul name represents. The Jøtul, Scan and Atra brands are all appreciated for their beauty, reliability and efficacy, with the varied styling carefully developed to guarantee that every customer can find a Jøtul stove or fireplace which will perfectly complement their home.

Professional network The company’s long history has certainly supported its global sales network, as many of its merchants have worked with Jøtul for decades. A representative from the company

said, “We have developed excellent relationships with our merchants, which is a key aspect of our continued success as it ensures our customers get the best and most professional advisors and installers. We’re not just trying to sell a stove or fireplace, we’re selling the heart of the home and we want to get it just right every time.” This focus is central to Jøtul’s business development and sales channel activities. As part of the stove or fireplace burns inside the home, it is imperative that the end users can totally trust the product and how it is installed so they feel safe and can enjoy the product.

The advice offered by the sales people must therefore address any possible customer concerns. Jøtul has its own dealer training school which guarantees that each of its speciality dealers has an advanced understanding of the related installation and fire regulations in each market and for each product, with this provision acting as a valuable sales tool.

Expanding the network All of the Jøtul products are sold through specialist retailers, with the company enjoying a strong multi-national market share, particularly in its domestic market. The company’s

Industry Europe 237

core markets are the Nordic area, France and the USA, with positive representation in Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the UK. Jøtul currently exports to more than 35 countries and although it has no current plans to expand into new areas, it is increasing its roster of distributors and importers. The company representative said, “We are always looking at our dealer network to ensure that it is best serving our customers and appealing to potential customers. We invest a great deal in marketing to both end users and dealers, with this mostly achieved through increasing our presence in showrooms, cooperative advertising with our dealers and developing our website to be more user friendly.” Just over two years ago the company launched the Scan 85, which is a freestanding stove that has the visual appeal and styling of a fireplace. Well-received in all Jøtul’s European markets, the Scan 85 represents a breakthrough for the company as it is its first large-scale stove that also maintains the famous Jøtul Group appealing contemporary design.

Well-positioned for further development As Jøtul looks forward to continued success, the long-established stove and fireplace company is committed to staying focused on quality and safety, with additional contemporary designs joining its portfolio of classic and traditional products. A vital part of its growth strategy is to continue expand its market share in existing geographical markets and distribution channels through continued product development and R&D, particularly as the Jøtul product range is already highly respected and there is a global trend for responsible and effective use of natural resources while still keeping homes warm and looking good. This means that Jøtul is well-positioned to utilise the opportunities presented in interior design trends as well as responsible home insulation and energy usage trends. The company representative concluded, “We will continue to refine our sales and marketing strategy too, so that we truly have the best of the past with our solid history and respected product range. Above all, we’re always working to improve our efficiency throughout the organisation by applying lean principles that use all our resources – natural, human and financial – n as effectively as possible.” 238 Industry Europe

CONSTANT PROGRESS Sofa and recliner manufacturer Hukla Möbel GmbH has come through the financial crisis of the past few years and continues to introduce new lines. Industry Europe looks at the reasons behind its success.


its production sites in Germany and Poland, business is brisk for sofa and recliner manufacturer Hukla Möbel GmbH. Export manager Mark Litterst said that the company has survived the global economic crisis so far and has expanded both its product range and its staff. “Our first reaction to the recession was a decision to focus all our activities on markets we have been successful in already,” he explained. “This proved to be a wise decision. The recession has had practically no influence on our business.”

A long tradition Founded in the Black Forest area of Germany in 1936, by Hugo Klausner, Hukla started making wooden cases. After World War II, however, it began catering to the furniture shortage of the time by making mattresses. The company later added furniture to its

240 Industry Europe

product portfolio and today approximately 60 per cent of its production is sofas, while 40 per cent is recliners. Originally known as Hukla Werke GmbH, the company’s name was changed to Hukla Möbel GmbH in 2004 after it was sold to a large South Africa based furniture group. Today Hukla is part of the group’s European division. The company manufactures its products from three different production sites. At Gengenbach, in Germany, sofas and recliner chairs are made, while at Torgelow, also in Germany, recliners are produced. At Wolow, in Poland, production focuses on sofas.

A unique product The reputation of Hukla’s products is built on its high-quality furniture and reasonable prices. The company also holds a significant number of patents that help it retain and grow its market share. These cover ele-

ments of functionality, such as the reclining mechanisms of the chairs, realigning and other relaxation actions, seat angle changes and seat depth changes. All of these can be combined to produce a unique product. The company has also developed its own in-house foam into which it can directly mould the springs. This enables it to offer a ten-year warranty on the seat comfort. Another patent covers construction processes, enabling it make lightweight but extremely durable frames.

Motion furniture New product design and development is on going. Over the past few years the company has expanded its design studio, increasing its in-house body of designers. Its most recent ranges of recliners have been extremely successful. It also offers a new generation of sofas with special recliner actions.

Industry Europe 241

Carpenter APS is one of the leading manufacturers of flexible polyurethane foam in Scandinavia. The company is part of the international company Carpenter Co. We offer our customers a wide range of foam products: • Standard Polyether • High Resilience • CMHR • Hypersoft • Waterlily® • Celsius® viscoelastic

Carpenter APS, Michael Drewsensvej 9, DK-8270 Højbjerg Phone: +45 86 29 23 11, Fax: +45 86 29 27 71, Email:

242 Industry Europe

Hukla’s development teams are constantly working on interesting new products. The company is known for high- quality motion furniture and this is what its customers have come to expect. It is constantly striving for new mechanisms combined with new looks and superb comfort. Hukla’s products are aimed at the medium to upper end of a market that sees little fluctuation. Any fluctuation that does occur is purely seasonal with September to March being the busiest period.

The Hukla name The aim for the future, said Mr Litterst, is to continue to develop the product range and to adapt to demand. “Global taste in furniture varies a lot. Adapting to both regional demands as well as special demands of certain consumer groups is the key to success,” he explained. “However, Hukla only serves the middle to upper market segment – and this will not change.” He went on: “Furniture is a bit like fashion – today’s blockbusters may be irrelevant next year. Therefore we have to listen closely to market demands.” And he added: “The company also plans to build the Hukla brand and to ensure that its name is better known among consumers. Hukla is a known brand for the dealers but only n a few end consumers know the name.”


Industry is a company engaged in supplying components for car industry as well as for other industries. Our components are used as the original equipment and as high-quality replacement parts. The company was created in response to the needs of industrial and automotive sectors. Our managers and employees have many years of experience in the industry. The company offers cooling systems, air conditioning, lighting and other products for buses, agriculture, trucks, rail vehicles, construction machinery and special vehicles as well as for the mining and energy sectors. We are able to supply any component, but we particularly specialize in cooling systems, air conditioning and broadly defined lightning since we have almost 20 years of

experience in this matter. Each of our clients is taken individually. We conduct a preliminary analysis of the needs and offer the best solution. We carry a variety of complex solutions, from conceptual stage through designing, prototyping, testing, up to batch delivery. OE Industry is a company which responds quickly to changes. We are flexible in making decision and provide products with added value.

Products supplied by us are reliable and perfectly matched. They ensure a long service life. We offer more than just sales references. This is a close collaboration between your company and OE Industry in order to maximize mutual benefits. We choose solutions that will secure the highest satisfaction of our customers, and will make us a trusted business partner.

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Articles inside

“We build the future together” OE Industry

pages 245-248

Constant progress Hukla Möbel

pages 242-244

The heart of the home Jøtul

pages 238-241

Specialists in sound ASK

pages 234-237

The evolution of mobility Bombardier

pages 226-229

Putting a gloss on it Athlone Extrusions

pages 222-225

Combined excellence in container services

pages 230-233

Quantity, quality and quickness

pages 218-221

Meeting all refractory needs SANAC

pages 215-217

More than iron ore LKAB

pages 212-214

Global leader in welding and cutting ESAB

pages 195-197

Leading in sensor technology Sensirion

page 194

Extreme precision Bruno Presezzi

pages 198-203

Long-term solutions SHW Werkseugmaschinen

pages 208-211

Unique track record for heavy engineering

pages 204-207

Sensing the difference with amazing skills

pages 186-189

Driving powertrain technology forward

pages 190-193

Strong in steel Vlassenroot

pages 184-185

A one-stop service TransAtlantic

pages 181-183

APL A global partner

pages 176-180

Delivering unique, heavy-haulage technology

pages 166-168

Experience and innovation DEME

pages 169-171

Global leaders in paper products SCA

pages 158-161

Offshore innovation Bourbon

pages 172-175

Double-click for success Unilin

pages 155-157

Driving innovation forward BKT

pages 162-165

Fast-flowing technology Logstor

pages 122-124

Increasing efficiency The Hamon Group

pages 134-137

Growth in wind energy Hydra Tech

pages 138-141

Modern technology for energy Rafako

pages 125-129

Quality and sustainability Valio

pages 146-149

The natural upgrade Agrana

pages 142-145

Imagine the energy Gehrlicher Solar

pages 130-133

Making a marketing masterpiece Absolut

pages 150-154

Solutions for the oil and gas industry

pages 114-118

European power player Alstom Power

pages 119-121

Arctic force of nature Lumene

pages 108-110

Leading by listening Godrej

pages 111-113

Lingerie for the modern woman

pages 104-107

Track record of success OJSC Arnest

pages 100-103

The right chemistry Perstorp

pages 96-99

Natural advantage Oleon

pages 92-95

The Sika spirit Sika

pages 87-91

Family concrete specialist Kronimus

pages 78-81

World class construction machinery Hidromek

pages 70-73

Energy-efficient windows Inwido

pages 74-77

High-class engineering Trimo

pages 82-86

Complete construction solutions Byggma

pages 67-69

Opening up new opportunities for aluminium

pages 64-66

Driving automotive efficiency further Hilite

pages 59-63

Keep it clean Dürr Ecoclean

pages 56-58

Smart suspension parts Frauenthal Automotive

pages 39-43

Specialists in cooling technology Nissens

pages 52-55

Screws and metal components for cars

pages 44-47

Motive power Inci Aku

pages 48-51

Developing tomorrow’s specialised polymer technologies Teknikum

pages 34-38

Partnerships in supply Stima

pages 29-33

Good connections Eisele Pneumatics

pages 26-28

Bill Jamieson End game?

page 6

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17

Ancient city builds future-proof new

pages 14-15

Crisis management The money is on niche models

pages 8-10

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20

Automotive news The latest from the industry

pages 11-13

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

pages 22-23
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