Industry Europe – Issue 23.5

Page 1

VOLUME 23/5 – 2013 • €6

The world of European manufacturing






Letting go Sometimes an amicable divorce is better than an unhappy marriage.


ou probably want to see if you can fix what’s broken in a very important relationship before you break it off,” said President Obama to the British hacks who wanted to know what he thought of his friend David’s problems. He was referring to Britain’s relationship with the EU though he might as well have had in mind Cameron’s difficulties with the Conservative party. Anyway it would be nice to imagine that Dave suddenly recalled another Great British Relationship Difficulty some 18 years ago, smiled coyly, fluttered his eyelashes, and murmured, “Well Mr President, you see there are 27 of us in this marriage, so it’s a bit crowded. And 17 of them spend all day in bed together. Britain has to sleep in the coal shed. What’s a girl to do?” But he probably didn’t. At least Obama conceded that parts of Britain’s relationship with the EU were indeed broken, which is quite an advance on the days when statesmen on both sides of the Atlantic were happy to dismiss unbelievers in ever-closer union as rabid obsessives – even swivel-eyed loons. But he clearly wanted to put his weight behind Cameron’s stated intention to try his best to fix what’s broken – to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU – before putting the result to a referendum. So if this ‘makes sense’ to the President, why does it seem to make less than sense to so many others? It comes down to whether you believe that what’s broken can really ever be fixed. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Lawson, in a weighty intervention, has made it clear that he believes that it can’t be. The creation of the eurozone and Britain’s determination to be no part of it has ‘fundamentally changed’ the UK’s relationship with the EU and indeed the nature of the Union itself. As Europe’s leaders struggle to deal with the disastrous consequences of the single currency they will move towards ever

closer fiscal and political union, which is, of course, what they wanted in the first place but which the UK will never embrace. Britain never was and never could be ‘at the heart of Europe’, as so many of its leaders have foolishly claimed, but it will now be inevitably and increasingly marginalised. The financial transactions tax and the moves to banking union are just early examples of integration that will leave Britain behind. But does not this inevitable change in the reality of the relationship offer the ideal opportunity to renegotiate the terms of the UK’s membership of the Union? That is Mr Cameron’s belief and it is probably shared by most of Britain’s political establishment. Lord Lawson, however, is certain that this hope is an illusion and that any changes that the government may be able to achieve will be ‘inconsequential’ – “the theology of the acquis communautaire, the principle that any powers ceded by the member states to the EU are ceded irrevocably, is absolute. It is the rock on which the Union is built.” And if exceptions were made for Britain, there would be similar demands from other states that would ‘threaten a general unravelling’. The EU is never going to risk that. The case for exit, says Lord Lawson, is therefore clear and he will be voting ‘out’ in 2017. But would there not be a heavy economic cost to Britain? Its ‘business leaders’ claim that being in the EU is worth up to £92bn a year to Britain and Deputy PM Nick Clegg warns us every other day that three million British jobs depend on our membership of the Union. Would multi-nationals continue to invest in production in the UK if it were no longer in the Single Market? Lawson believes that, in fact, the advantages of the Single Market are marginal and are far outweighed by the costs of what has become a ‘bureaucratic monstrosity’. You do not need to be in the single market

to export to the EU, he says, “the relevant economic context is nowadays not Europe but global free trade.”

Exit is easier Wolfgang Munchau, in the Financial Times, says he is right. For the UK the single market does indeed cost more than it’s worth. “For a country such as the UK, with a large economy but a small industrial base, the regulatory burden of the single market outweighs the benfits.” And he goes further, much further – “For the EU as a whole, the single market has been a macroeconomic non-event. Its impact on aggregate gross domestic product is statistically imperceptible.” So would the UK be better off outside the Union? Yes, he says, if it were able still to enjoy access to free trade with the EU. Would it be able to do that? Munchau can’t see why not. “Germany and the Netherlands will almost certainly not oppose a free-trade agreement with the UK. It would be in nobody’s interest for the UK to suffer a negative trade shock.” What’s more, Munchau points out that, in fact, it would be far easier for the UK to secure favourable exit terms than the treaty change that re-negotiated membership would require. The latter would have to be agreed by all members and their parliaments, it would need to pass in several referendums – it could take years, it might never happen. The exit option, by contrast, is specifically provided for in Article 50 of the EU Treaty. Britain would simply have to ensure that it secured a bilateral trade agreement. “My best guess,” says Munchau, “is that an exit would put Britain in a similar economic situation as Switzerland, which would not exactly be an economic disaster.” Sometimes, Mr President, it’s just better to make a clean break than carry on trying n to fix the unfixable. 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 Rail Industry

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

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

Comment 1 4 5

Opinion Letting go Bill Jamieson A convergence of the wrong sort James Srodes Obama gets some breathing

room – then stumbles

Rail Industry 6 9 12

Japanese seek a slice of growing European rail market Hitachi invests in the UK Rail news The latest from the industry Docklands Light Railway, from ugly duckling to transport swan London’s other light rail system

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

© Industry Europe 2013 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. POSITIVE PUBLICATIONS

A Square Root Company

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 22 23

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

Automotive 24 28 31 36 40 44

Finding new markets Assan Hanil Otomotiv Safety first Britax Römer Innovative systems for a global market Cooper Standard Automotive

Breaking through the economic gloom Hüner Kriko Safety first with KASIGLAS® KASIGLAS® Top of the range in functional design Mont Blanc

Building & Construction 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:

48 52 56 60 64

Opening doors to new markets Royal Boon Edam Delivering innovative sun protection systems Harol World class construction machinery Hidromek Advanced roofing technology Icopal Building strength Weber Norway

VOL 23/5 Above: AED Automation p190



68 72 78

158 Optimising reliability in data centres worldwide GEA 162 Advancing water technology Watts Industries Italia

Enhancing the genius of nature Galactic Investing to meet growing demand Nitrogénművek

The right chemistry Perstorp

Electrical 82 86 89 92

Comprehensive solutions for the mining and gas industries Elektrometal A pioneer in kitchen appliances MORA MORAVIA Pioneering progressive LED lighting technology Philips Making contact Preci-Dip

Marine 165 168 172 176 180 183

A global partner APL Offshore innovation Bourbon Fast track across the Mediterranean Grandi Navi Veloci

Sailing out of troubled waters Vyborg Shipyard Marine mobility Conquest Offshore Harnessing wind power Stena Line


Measurement & Control

96 100 104 108

186 Experts in temperature technology CAP IT

Total system solutions Aselsan Global leaders in PCBs AT&S Sound solutions Phonak Communications Specialists in sound ASK

Energy 112 114 118 124 128 132 134

Energy-efficient boilers Aalborg Energie Technik Pride in every move Aarbakke Pressurised perfection Chesterfield Special Cylinders On a new track MVM OVIT Maximising energy potential OMV Group Efficient and flexible power solutions Wärtsilä Combined strengths Standardkessel

Food & Drink

Above: Harol NV p52 Below: Preci-Dip p92

Metal & Metalworking 190 194 198 201 206 209

Developing high-performance process solutions AED Automation All-round quality development IRO Driving into new markets Bharat Forge Kilsta Danieli Automation SpA: Quantity, quality and quickness Danieli Automation Long-term solutions SHW Werkzeugmaschinen Unrivalled expertise in glass moulds Omco

Above: IGLOOCAR p150 Below: COLTENE p228

Paper & Printing 212 Optimising post-print efficiency Polar-Mohr 217 On target for growth Sofidel

137 Making a marketing masterpiece ABSOLUT

Heavy Vehicles 140 143 146 150 155

Clean and green Alfdex Strength in diversity Agrikon Kam Compacting success Geesinknorba Leader in special-purpose truck bodies IGLOOCAR

All-terrain vehicles Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug

Plastics 220 Serving the plastics industry Baerlocher Group 224 The pursuit of the perfect plastic film RENOLIT group

Also in this issue... 228 Dental potential COLTENE 232 Experts in stainless hydraulics SSH Stainless 236 150 years of steel innovation Industeel Benelux Industry Europe 5




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

A convergence of the wrong sort It’s now not just the southern countries of the EU that are suffering from a lack of growth.


could be hailed as good news of sorts. There is indeed long sought convergence in the European Union. Unfortunately, it is convergence towards slowdown. Figures for the first three months of 2013 show a return to recession. Indeed, the decline in real GDP points to a depressing truth that, six years on, output is still lower than at the beginning of 2007. The story is the same in the eurozone where output also languished below the Q1 2007 level. A sixth consecutive quarter of decline means that this downturn has now lasted longer than the financial crisis. And given the dire economic outlook for several peripheral countries there is little prospect of improvement in 2013. For most of the past three years the story in Europe has been one of crisis and deepening recession in the peripheral countries of the single currency area but signs of flickering growth in the northern European core. Unfortunately, the malaise looks to be spreading to the heart. And as it does so, public attitudes to the EU have hardened notably. The UK is far from alone in its scepticism. The latest figures show the French economy again contracted by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, adding to the mounting troubles of deeply unpopular President Hollande. But it was Germany where economic concern was focused. German growth was disappointing. It is now within a whisker of joining other core economies in a double dip (in some cases triple). Europe’s largest economy now appears to be suffering a perfect storm. Germany’s great strength has been its export sector, not just in terms of the mix of goods, but also in terms of destinations – China being the jewel in the German export portfolio crown. With Chinese data suggesting more subdued growth, German businesses are likely to feel that weakness. Finland, another nation considered part of the economically solid eurozone core, also 6 Industry Europe

entered recession with a second consecutive quarter of negative growth. On financial markets this convergence of bad news is greeted with some sanguinity: investors draw comfort that the European Central Bank will be obliged to embark on a policy of monetary loosening and adopt a euro-wide programme of Quantitative Easing: the ‘bad news is good news’ mantra of fund managers. In May the ECB cut its interest rate from 0.75 per cent to 0.5 per cent. However, it is unlikely the ECB will embark on such a policy soon. Analysts believe a programme of bond purchases will

For most of the past three years the story in Europe has been one of crisis and deepening recession in the peripheral countries of the single currency area but signs of flickering growth in the northern European core. Unfortunately, the malaise looks to be spreading to the heart. more likely be reserved for a crisis situation in which the bond markets turn against a country such as Italy or Spain that is of systemic importance. Overall, the eurozone continues to struggle as the public and private sectors deleverage and structural reform continues slowly. Most forecasters see little prospect of an improvement in eurozone GDP next year. Further ahead slow growth looks the likely trajectory. Peripheral countries in the eurozone, unable to devalue, will continue to suffer domestic austerity and recession.

Growing disillusionment In the UK chancellor George Osborne is at least able to hail signs of a first quarter 0.3 per cent growth in GDP as evidence that the economy is at least ‘on the right track’. However, on the basis of the latest figures, it looks as if the member states of the eurozone are on the wrong track. The costs of the zone’s one-size-fits-all strategy are becoming brutally apparent. And in public attitudes the euro malaise appears to be spreading beyond the economic sphere. I am grateful to Stephen Lewis, economist at Monument Securities, for drawing my attention to recent research by the prestigious Pew Research Centre in Washington. Its conclusion from an extensive survey of European public opinion is that ‘the European Union is now the sick man of Europe’. The report noted a decline over the past year in public support for the EU project in all the major members of the EU. When Pew conducted its 2012 survey, the median proportion, among these states, of respondents taking a favourable view of the EU was 60 per cent, with a median of 34 per cent believing that EU integration had strengthened the economy. Those proportions dropped to 45 per cent and 20 per cent respectively in this year’s survey. Most significantly, approval of the EU in France had fallen from 60 per cent last year to 41 per cent this year. Indeed, EU approval in France was, apparently, lower even than in the UK, where it was 43 per cent. “These results,” Lewis concludes, “spell trouble ahead for the EU.” A continuing erosion in the EU’s strength and standing in the global economy cannot but impact on attitudes in Washington and elsewhere. And this disillusionment would almost certainly intensify on further evidence of a policy split between France and Germany at the core as public anger builds against ‘austerity economics’. n




Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street

Obama gets some breathing room – then stumbles Sometimes even good news can have bad side effects.


he United States recently has been awash with unexpected good financial news; then blindsided by political scandals that had simmered for some time before boiling over the White House. All this has obscured the longer term prospects for President Obama’s political agenda and – more important – for America’s very fragile economic recovery. Cases in point: Wall Street’s share markets continue to set new price records as institutional investors awash with Federal Reserve money pumping are now being crowded at the buying posts by individual investors who are belatedly plunging in at the top of the market. At least part of the ebullience in share prices stems from evidence that the American economy (unlike many of its eurozone trading partners) is generating some economic growth. Some, but not much. First quarter gross domestic product for January– March managed just a 2.5 per cent annual rate of increase; the widely predicted rise was for a 3.2 per cent bump. A look at the details of the GDP report reveals some sobering information. Most of the gain in growth was in the important area (70 per cent of GDP normally) of consumer spending and in the also important area of home buying. But the worry is that that trend cannot long continue. Real disposable income for Americans saw its biggest drop in that first quarter since 2009.

While consumer spending and Fed liquidity have fattened corporate balance sheets, it has not translated into new investment. Major businesses increased their new investment in plant and equipment by a paltry 2.1 per cent in the first quarter, clearly showing worry that the expiration of Bush-era federal tax cuts on employer costs, on worker pay, plus the damaging government spending reductions forced by the mandatory sequestration law now in effect will serve to drag the nation back into recession.

Another bubble ready to burst? Statistics aside, there are other worrying signals. One is that Wall Street’s boom may be due for a summertime bear market raid. Share watchers have begun sounding alarm bells as major investment figures have recently been dumping their holdings of big-name corporate issues. No less than Warren Buffett, John Paulson and George Soros have recently unloaded millions of blue chip holdings in banks, consumer manufacturing and computer technology. The billionaire sell-off was explained in a profile in the Wall Street Journal of a well-respected economist named Robert Wiedemer. Back in 2006, Wiedemer won notoriety by predicting that the debt-fueled bubble in house prices, equities and consumer spending would soon burst. This time, Wiedemer is adamant that as much as a 90 per cent col-

lapse in share prices is inevitable. In the Journal profile, Widemer blamed the Federal Reserve’s massive creation of dollars in an attempt to stimulate economic growth as the villain. “These funds haven’t made it into the markets and the economy yet. But it is a mathematical certainty that once the dam breaks, and this money passes through the reserves and hits the markets, inflation will surge. Once you hit 10 per cent inflation, 10-year Treasury bonds lose about half their value. And by 20 per cent any value is all but gone. Interest rates will increase dramatically at this point, and that will cause real estate values to collapse. And the stock market will collapse as a consequence of these other problems,” Widemer argued. This will jolt corporations which will spend more on borrowing costs and less on investment. Profit margins will contract, so will dividends and future plans to hire more workers; layoffs and redundancies will spike, he adds. There is disturbing evidence that American businessmen are already reacting to the prospect of a new financial crisis. Despite the real, albeit anaemic, economic growth numbers the most recent government survey of job vacancies now totals nearly 4 million jobs, up 80 per cent from their 2009 low point. This, as every schoolboy knows, runs counter to the theory of British labour economist William Beveridge who noted that when

unemployment is high, vacancies are few because job seekers quickly fill them. Conversely when unemployment falls, vacancies normally rise as employers have trouble filling them. But in this case, vacancies are rising and unemployment remains high as well. Now fewer than 18 million American workers are unable to find jobs even with vacancies open at all skill levels. The answer lies in a number of surveys that reveal that business executives are reluctant to hire even to fill jobs they normally need to expand growth. Their reason? Worries that President Obama’s political policies will create more problems – particularly in the area of worker health care spending – than they solve. At this writing Mr Obama more resembles a Gulliver held captive by the webs of a smaller but more determined band of enemies who are strengthened by the President’s own errors of judgment. Here even good news seems to work against him. Added to the economic doubts, the recent spates of political scandals involving his handling of the Libyan crisis, the Internal Revenue Service’s probes of conservative political groups, his Justice Department’s crackdown on journalists, Mr Obama can only be thankful for one thing: America is not a parliamentary democracy. He might not survive a vote of confidence at the moment. But can he regain his footing over the n next three years? Industry Europe 7

The Japanese have arrived in Europe. Three decades after the Japanese auto industry established car manufacturing plants on this side of the globe, contracts have been signed for the first Japanese railway plant in Europe. James Abbott reports.


GROWING EUROPEAN RAIL MARKET ON 14 May 2013, Hitachi Rail Europe announced that it had signed a contract with Merchant Place Developments for the construction and fit-out of a rolling stock manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, UK. The contract paves the way for the construction of Hitachi’s first train factory in Europe, which represents an investment of £82 million. Hitachi Rail Europe is to receive a £4 million grant from the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to support the build of the factory. 8 Industry Europe

Alistair Dormer, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Hitachi Rail Europe said: “By investing substantially in our train factory, we are creating employment opportunities for a large number of engineers and technicians in the North East of England, which has a strong tradition of engineering skills. We are keen to fill our order books, building trains here in the UK – for use in Britain and for exporting to continental Europe.” Hitachi said the factory will create long-term employment for 730 people. It is expected that 200 jobs will be created

during the construction phase of the factory. Construction of the plant is expected to start at the end of 2013, with the factory scheduled to go into production in 2016. In Japan, Hitachi is a builder of the famous Shinkansen bullet trains used on the Japanese high-speed lines. The UK factory will initially be used to build Super Express Trains, a type of inter-city train devised for use on Britain’s historic network. The Super Express Trains will go into full passenger service on the Great Western main line from London Paddington to Bristol and South Wales in 2017.

Artist’s impression of Super Express Train to be produced at the Hitachi plant in Newton Aycliffe, UK.

The construction of the Newton Aycliffe factory has been strongly supported by the UK Government, with Government minister Philip Hammond joking when he was Transport Secretary that the Japanese ambassador to London had a permanent chair in his office. The Government is plainly hoping that the Newton Aycliffe railway plant will emulate the success of Japanese car maker Nissan, whose Sunderland plant close to Newton Aycliffe in the North East of England has a reputation as the most productive car-maker in Europe. The Qashqai car made in Sunderland has been exported all over the world, including for a while to Japan itself. Whether this is a realistic aim for the trainbuilding plant is a moot point. Critics of the UK Government’s policy argue that the English plant will be doing little more than assemble kits built in Japan, although Hitachi is at pains to point out that there will be a Research & Development department in County Durham. Reportedly, one reason the UK Government is so keen on the building of the new plant is that there was a worry that amalgamations in Europe could lead to a semi-monopoly in railway equipment supply. There have in the past been concerns that the Canadian firm Bombardier, which is the largest railway manufacturer in Europe, might sell its railway division in order to free up funds for new model development in its aircraft division. However, in the event this did happen,

it is unlikely the European Commission would sanction purchase of Bombardier’s capacity by Alstom or Siemens, the other two of the European ‘Big Three’, and for now there is more than enough rivalry between the European majors to ensure keen prices.

UK demand only modest The history of the past half century in the European railway manufacturing industry is one of overcapacity and plant closures, rather than openings. Is there enough potential demand to justify the Newton Aycliffe factory? The requirements of the UK market on its own are modest enough to be met by one plant and there is one remaining historic train building factory in the country: Bombardier’s plant at Derby. Since Derby lost out on a big order for the Thameslink line in London to Siemens’ plant at Krefeld in Germany, the plant has been kept going with a longstanding order for the London Underground that will dry up over the next couple of years, plus a handful of small orders for London commuter trains. So the only large order on the horizon in the UK, new trains for the Crossrail line now taking shape under London which is due to open in 2018, has become a ‘must win’ for both Bombardier and Hitachi – both firms need it to keep work in their UK factories. These two firms are up against other shortlisted bidders Alstom of France, CAF of Spain

and Siemens of Germany for the 60-odd trains that will be needed for Crossrail. A decision is due to be made towards the end of this year and it is sure to be a political hot potato. Interestingly, the UK Government has announced that the Crossrail trains will be built using conventional public financing, rather than the complex private finance arrangements that have led to long delays in between announcing the preferred bidder and the firm contract for the Hitachi Super Express Trains and the Siemens Thameslink trains. With public money speeding up the process, it will be feasible to tie up the contract for the Crossrail trains in advance of the next UK election in 2015. The Crossrail and Thameslink projects show the British administration is continuing to invest in rail despite high levels of government debt, and the same goes for other major northern European countries such as France and Germany – although the Mediterranean countries that have borne the brunt of the eurozone crisis have retrenched. In a study last year, the SCI Verkehr consultancy said it expected the €39.7 billion European railway equipment market to grow by 3 per cent a year up to 2016.

Rapid expansion beyond Europe That is dwarfed by the break-neck scale of investment in China, where in 2010 SCI estimated the market size at €100 billion, Industry Europe 9

Bombardier in Derby, UK, is building 191 trains for the London Underground sub-surface network.

although by 2011 it had declined to about €70 billion as some of the largest projects were completed. While in the early years of expansion the Chinese relied heavily on joint ventures with European and Japanese firms in railway equipment manufacture, domestic Chinese companies now produce many of their own clone products and their sheer volume of output makes them the largest railway equipment suppliers in the world. However, most of the output is for domestic consumption and Chinese export success so far is mainly limited to Asia. One of the strongest markets of late has been Russia, buoyed up by strong raw materials exports. Here again the west European majors have been in joint venture with local suppliers. For example, at the Hannover Messe in April, Russian State Railways (RZD) signed a memorandum of understanding with Siemens for the purchase of 350 electric locomotives, which are to be produced by a joint venture of Siemens and local firm Sinara and made at a plant in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Also trumpeting an east European deal at Hannover was Bombardier, which has tied up with Russian rail manufacturer UVZ to Siemens of Germany is building eight new ‘Sapsan’ (‘Falcon’) high-speed trains to supplement the eight already working between Moscow and St Petersburg.

10 Industry Europe

develop jointly metro trains for the Moscow metro and elsewhere in the Commonwealth of Independent States. SCI forecasts annual growth of 3.2 per cent for rail technology products in the region, which will increase the size of the CIS market to €21.3 billion by 2016. Some of the growth is being propelled by rail projects associated with the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and the soccer World Cup which Russia will host in 2018.

Operating developments Turning to railway operating, subsidiaries of the French (SNCF) and German (DB) state railway companies are making much of the running where services are tendered. The most open market is the UK, where franchises are let for operation of main line services. Here, through its part ownership of Keolis, SNCF is a participant in the GoVia joint venture, the franchisee with the highest number of passengers in the UK. DB’s Arriva subsidiary operates a number of UK franchises and in May 2013 the company took over Veolia Transport Central Europe, an operator with bus activities in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. SNCF is a shareholder in NTV, a new intercity operator which competes against the state operator FS on the high-speed network in Italy. Meanwhile, when European competition policy dictated that the German arm of Arriva should be bought by someone other than DB, FS took it on. Bringing a dose of private sector competition to all this nationalised industry activity is National Express of the UK, which has had some success in the market for tendered local rail services in Germany. In rail freight, DB of Germany is the undisputed king, being the dominant player in the

UK and the Netherlands and with operations in many other European countries. When DB bought English, Welsh & Scottish Railway from Canadian National, the company’s embryo French operation Rail Cargo Europe came as part of the sale. DB is now using this subsidiary to compete against SNCF on its own turf. Rail Cargo Europe is just one of a number of freight operators that have entered the French market under European Commission-inspired open access rules. They see potentially rich pickings, as SNCF Fret is a basket case, losing €2.5 billion in the five years to 2011 (a period which admittedly encompasses the financial crisis, but which other state rail freight operators endured much better). Unable to fight off new entrants by fair means, the company has adopted foul: it has been fined more than €60 million by the French competition authority, the Autorité de la Concurrence, principally for misusing confidential information supplied to SNCF in its role as national rail infrastructure manager by competitors in the rail freight field. A recent report highlighted that more flexible labour practices and nimble marketing had allowed the open access operators to run rings round the state freight operator, to which SNCF Fret’s response was that the new entrants should be obliged to apply SNCF labour conditions! With attitudes like this it is unsurprising that rail freight is losing market share to the road alternative in many European countries. Brussels still has some way to go with its efforts to galvanise the market by n introducing competition. The author is Editor of Modern Railways magazine and Technical Editor of European Railway Review.



New developments in the Rail industry

DB Schenker invests €53 million in new terminal in Finland


B Schenker Logistics will build a new terminal in Vantaa, capital area of Finland. The premises, located in the Viinikkala logistics area, close to Helsinki airport, will consist of warm and unheated terminal buildings and office buildings totaling approximately 52,300 square metres. The terminal will operate land transport, parcel services and home deliveries as well as air and ocean freight. All operations will be combined under one roof in a warm terminal hall of 25,200 square metres. Additionally there will be unheated terminal of 3300 square metres.

Göran Åberg, CEO of Oy Schenker East Ab, said: “This new facility of DB Schenker in Finland is one of the largest investments of DB Schenker globally and one of the largest land transport terminals in Europe. In November 2012 we opened a brand new logistics centre of 24,500 square metres in Nurmijärvi, in the capital area of Finland, focusing on the automotive industry. Together these investments of DB Schenker in logistics services in Finland will be approximately €76 million.” Visit:

Czech Railways to deploy new and modernised vehicles in 2013


he extensive modernisation of ČD’s rolling stock will continue in 2013. ČD expects to deploy more than 150 new and modernised locomotives and carriages, including carriages of electric and diesel multiple units worth a total of ca. CZK 6 billion (ca. €234 million). Regional transport will be dominated by completely new RegioPanter and RegioShark multiple units. Long-distance transport will receive additional modernised carriages. Approximately 90 per cent of all carriages

delivered and put into operation in 2013 will be completely new electric and diesel multiple units. The share of modernised vehicles will fall to approximately one-tenth. Most of the new vehicles will be from the family of RegioPanter low-platform electric multiple units and RegioShark low-platform diesel multiple units. The trains will operate in various regions of the Czech Republic. Visit:

Network Rail takes first step into US market


he UK’s Network Rail has joined Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) Partner Forum in order to share the company’s valuable experience of managing and developing high-density passenger rail infrastructure. Network Rail is represented in the forum by Network Rail Consulting, the company’s international consultancy arm. Membership of the forum will enable Network Rail Consulting to share best practice internationally and collaborate on areas of interest including high speed rail development, railway operations,

Arriva welcomes latest Network Rail performance figures


atest industry figures have revealed that Arriva’s UK train operations are delivering more punctual services with three of its businesses becoming joint first, second and third highest performing rail operators in the UK. National train performance data released by Network Rail covering 1 to 27 April (Period 1) shows

system integration and other objectives established by the forum for the purpose of improving the NEC, considered the rail backbone of the region. Simon Kirby, chairman of Network Rail Consulting, said: “We believe we have much to offer other railways around the world and we are eager to support Amtrak on this key initiative. We look forward to helping further develop rail in the United States, sharing the best of British engineering and ingenuity.” Visit:

that Arriva’s joint venture rail business London Overground is the joint highest performing operator in terms of punctuality and reliability (PPM) with some 96.4 per of its services operating on time. Arriva’s three other rail franchises – Arriva Trains Wales, Chiltern Railways and CrossCountry – have also seen welcome improvements in overall performance. performing operator in the Visit: Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Rail industry

Transtech delivers driving coaches and restaurant coaches to VR


ranstech Oy and Finland’s VR Group have signed supply contracts on delivery of 12 driving coaches and 15 restaurant coaches during the years 2013 and 2014. The contracts include options for deliveries of 13 driving coaches and 11 restaurant coaches. The Finnish content of the coaches is about 80% and the total value of the contract is about €90 million without the options.

Double deck driving coaches enable the InterCity2 trains to be used for pushpull operation on the fnal station without changing the locomotive. That will for its part facilitate the busy hours and sensitivity for interferences at the Helsinki main railway station. Double deck restaurant coaches will introduce the modern restaurant services for InterCity trains on long distance routes. Visit:

Bombardier wins new order from Transport for London Waitrose to supply Eurostar


ombardier Transportation has signed a contract with Transport for London (TfL) to provide 57 additional BOMBARDIER ELECTROSTAR rail cars for the London Overground network. The order is part of Transport for London’s programme to increase passenger capacity on the

successful London Overground network – the 57 new cars will be used to turn existing fourcar trains into five-car versions. The new units will be supported under an existing maintenance contract. The order is valued at approximately £88 million GBP. Delivery of the 57 new ELECTROSTAR Class 378 cars will start in late 2014 and finish in 2015. They will be built at Bombardier’s facility in Derby. The 75mph Class 378 units are specially designed for suburban operations with passenger comfort and safety in mind. Walk-through carriages provide more standing room and space for passengers, reflecting the type of short trips most passengers make on the network. The vehicles also include CCTV and air conditioning. Visit:

New Tube extension for south London moves one step closer


housands of people in south London are one step closer to having better access to the Tube as Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that it has applied for powers to build and run an extension of the Northern line to Battersea from Kennington via Nine Elms. If the Tube link goes ahead travel to the West End and the City would be cut to 15 minutes from the Battersea area.

Go-ahead for Siemens’ acquisition of Invensys Rail


he European Commission has given its consent to Siemens’ acquisition of Invensys Rail, the leading global supplier of signalling and control equipment for rail. Thereby Siemens can close the acquisition of Invensys Rail as planned in the second quarter of the calendar year 2013.

12 Industry Europe

with on-board refreshments


urostar and Waitrose have announced a new partnership which will see Britain’s favourite supermarket supply on-board refreshments to Eurostar’s bar buffets, for passengers travelling in standard class between London and mainland Europe. This new culinary collaboration marks Waitrose’s first major move into on-board food and its first significant continental venture. Waitrose business to business director, David Morton, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for us to work with such a prestigious brand, which shares our commitment to quality and service. To be the first food brand that Eurostar’s customers experience when they are visiting Britain is tremendously powerful as we seek to expand our presence within Northern Europe.” Visit:

If planning powers are obtained from the government, and a funding package is in place, then construction of the Northern line extension could begin in 2015 with the two new stations opening in 2020. The extension would help kick start regeneration in the Nine Elms area of south London and provide major transport benefits for local people. Visit: “We are combining two of the strongest organisations for the rail automation market of the future. This business will ensure profitable growth opportunities worldwide for the Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector and create a truly global player. It also underscores the Sector strategy of expanding automation know-how,” said Roland Busch, CEO of the Siemens Infrastructure &

Cities Sector and member of the managing board of Siemens AG. Invensys Rail will be integrated into the rail automation business of the Mobility and Logistics Division. Invensys Rail is a leading global supplier of signalling and control equipment for rail, and has a strong footprint and a well established reputation in its domestic markets. Visit:


Eurotunnel and Siemens conduct successful test of Vectron locomotive

Hitachi Rail Europe selects Nomad Digital for On Board Server solution for IEP



ollowing the agreement to apply the European Technical Specifications for Interoperability to freight trains travelling through the Channel Tunnel, tests have been carried out with a latest generation Siemens Vectron locomotive. The Vectron is the first locomotive to gain certification under TSI, HS and RST in Europe. It is therefore capable of hauling traffic directly from the continent to the UK. The tests were to prove its compatibility with the systems and safety rules in the Channel Tunnel. For the test, the Vectron loco, in standard configuration and hauling wagons with a total weight

of 1350 tonnes, entered the Tunnel via the French portal at 22:42 and completed a series of traction, braking and pantograph tests. Equipped with four axles, instead of the six on the Class 92, which is currently used in the Tunnel, the Vectron exited at Folkestone before setting back to France for a second phase of tests. This series of tests is in line with Eurotunnel’s ambition to encourage the development of ‘normal’ rail freight between the UK and continental Europe, that is to say without the need to use the very specific Class 92 locomotives. Visit:

New offices for Keolis in China J ean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of Keolis Group, has inaugurated new Keolis offices in China. These are located in Wuhan, one of the main cities in the centre of the country. The group will be operating the future intermodal hub of the Wuhan airport, which is planned to open at the end of 2015. The future intermodal hub aims to become a real reference in China. In agreement with the city, Serge Cridlig, who is currently director

Alstom and Transmashholding open new production facility in Russia


lstom and its Russian partner, Transmashholding (TMH), have inaugurated a joint production site dedicated to asynchronous traction drives for electric locomotives in Novocherkassk, in southern Russia. This modern traction drive will equip the locomotives jointly developed and manufactured by

itachi Rail Europe Ltd. has selected British company Nomad Digital to provide an On Board Server (OBS) solution for the Hitachi Super Express fleet for the Intercity Express Programme (IEP). The OBS provides a single gateway for transmission of all operational data between the train and the trackside. Data transmitted includes train diagnostics from the Train Management System, energy consumption, seat reservation as well as daily timetable information. The OBS utilises Nomad’s R3500 router as the communications gateway and harnesses multiple 3G networks to provide connectivity. Keith Jordan, managing director, Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Nomad Digital is already an existing supplier for our Class 395 train as one of the leading companies in Europe for supplying OBS solutions. We are now extending our working relationship with them. As the IEP contract is a long-term commitment for Hitachi Rail Europe, we will be working with Nomad Digital to future-proof the technology to ensure that it will be the right solution over the duration of the contract. We are very pleased to be working with a supplier, based almost on the doorstep of our new train manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham.” Visit: or

of the Railway Experts Cluster at SNCF, will be the future general manager of the new entity called ‘Wuhan Tianhe Airport Transport Centre Operation and Management Company’. Once the Terminal 3 is finished Keolis will manage the intermodal hub – train, metro, bus and parking – through a joint venture between Keolis China and Wuhan Transportation Engineering Construction Investment Group. Visit: Alstom and TMH for Russia and Kazakhstan. The asynchronous traction drive is a high-technology component whose main feature is a low weight to power ratio. It also ensures easier monitoring of the locomotive engine. The traction drive is to be installed on electric locomotives EP20 and 2ES5, which were developed by the partners for operation in Russia, as well as for locomo-

tives KZ8A and KZ4A, which will be manufactured and operated in Kazakhstan. Locomotives developed by Alstom and TMH are among the most powerful in the world, able to operate at temperatures between -50°C and +50°C. 400 locomotives will be supplied to Russia and 295 to Kazakhstan. Visit: or Industry Europe 13

DOCKLANDS LIGHT RAILWAY, FROM UGLY DUCKLING TO TRANSPORT SWAN London’s Docklands Light Railway has sometimes seemed like a minor service compared to its larger subterranean cousin, the London Underground. But it now carries more than 80 million passengers per year. Robert Williams reports.


nown colloquially as the DLR, the line was originally built to provide a modest public transport system for the growing London Docklands development, with a dozen trains serving a route just 7.5 miles (12 kilometres) in length. However, it has since grown dramatically owing to the ever increasing demand for transportation in East London, and was one of the unsung heroes of the 2012 Olympic Games. The first phase, opened in 1987, went from the Isle of Dogs to Tower Gateway, next to Fenchurch Street station in the City and cost only £77m to build. Now its various phases and additions have resulted in ten times that 14 Industry Europe

amount of money being spent on a railway that critics say is now the wrong type of system for Docklands’ needs. The history of the redevelopment of Docklands has been dominated by the issue of transport. At first much of the Docklands area, particularly Canary Wharf, was completely inaccessible. There were buses, a semidefunct railway line and roads which could not cope with traffic levels. The DLR was seen as a cheap way of bringing people from the City to the Isle of Dogs and was originally planned as a tram system at street level, although that idea was quickly dropped. To keep costs low, existing railway alignments enabled low-cost

construction over much of the route. The central section through Canary Wharf, however, involved building a completely new overhead route. The original layout was a three-pronged star, with Poplar at its centre, Tower Gateway to the west, Stratford in the north and Island Gardens, on the north bank of the Thames, to the south. The DLR was opened by the Queen at the end of July 1987, and began public services a month later. It originally had 11 driverless single-unit trains serving 15 stations and, in its first year of operation, carried 6.7 million people. Today the railway has 45 stations, 46km of track, and 149 units working

in multiples of two or three. Usage has risen to 86 million passengers a year. The early system had little spare capacity, but the Docklands area very quickly developed into a major financial centre and employment zone, increasing the demand on the fledgling network. In particular Tower Gateway, at the edge of the City of London, attracted criticism for its poor connections (it did not physically connect with Tower Hill or Fenchurch Street, the two closest and most significant potential connections). This is partly because the system experienced higher-than-expected usage. Plans were developed before the system opened to extend to Bank in the west, and Beckton in the east. All stations and trains were extended to two-unit length, and the system was expanded into the heart of the City of London to Bank through a tunnel, opening in 1991. The network has also been extended to Lewisham, and Woolwich Arsenal. The most recent addition to the DLR network was a conversion of part of the former North London Line east of Stratford, as well as a new spur to Stratford International which was heavily used during the Olympics.

Further extension The growth of London City Airport and its lack of public transport facilities was the impetus for the next extension from Canning Town on the Beckton branch. It was initially built to King George V (the old royal dock) in 2005 and then subsequently via a second river crossing to Woolwich Arsenal in 2008. Both these extensions, costing £140 million and £180 million respectively, were privately financed by separate companies but the operations and maintenance is fully integrated into the DLR control & communications centre at Poplar. The Woolwich extension needed 2.5km of tunnels under the Thames. Two new stations have been built on the existing railway, at Pudding Mill Lane and

Langdon Park, both on the Stratford route. The latter is a prototype for a more adventurous architectural style. Expanding the trains to two vehicles was done fairly soon after opening but the continuing growth in passenger numbers has led DLR to embark on further expansion of train length to three vehicles. Bank and Canary Wharf stations were built with this in mind but most others needed platform extensions. Some of these were relatively easy but many involved expensive civil engineering works to cantilever them out on viaduct sections. There have been 55 new vehicles procured for the project. Unfortunately, the new and old types of trains are not electrically compatible so they cannot normally be coupled together, but they can be coupled together to recover a failed vehicle.

Fully automatic DLR trains are fully automatic and are operated entirely by an onboard computer system linked to a central control room. The control system monitors all the relative positions and speeds from the onboard computer signals and trackside monitoring systems, and then sends data to the trains to ensure that safe distances are maintained. The train is manned by a Passenger Service Agent, whose job is to check tickets, make announcements, open and close the doors at stops, and take over control if there are any problems with the system. Trains vary their speed automatically to ensure that services arrive on time, and are able to run at up to 50 miles per hour (80 kilometres per hour). Passengers are counted in and out of stations using infrared detection systems to ensure that no-one is lost in the system. The system is operated via a concession, which is currently held by Serco. During the Olympics 7.2 million passengers were carried on the system – double its normal levels. A new daily record of more

than 500,000 passengers was set on 3 August during the Olympic Games. Since the Olympics, further works are planned that will expand the DLR. Work on extending three-car operation to the Beckton route is already underway. Other proposed extensions include: • creating an extension to the east route from Gallions Reach to Dagenham Dock – • double-tracking from Bow Church to Stratford with a new station at Pudding Mill Lane to facilitate Crossrail • extending the line onwards from Bank in a tunnel to either Victoria or Euston/St Pancras – a very ambitious vision but would give much needed relief to the District Line as well as making an interchange with HS2 • heading southwards from Lewisham to Forest Hill to relieve the Jubilee Line. Over the last 25 years, the DLR has been transformed from a small light rail system into a major transport operation in East London, serving the Docklands and Thames Estuary. Its current passenger numbers could only have been dreamed of back in 1984 and, even more impressively, this growth looks set n to increase over the next 25 years.

Industry Europe 15


New contracts and orders in industry

EFKON awarded major orders in Germany and Malaysia T

he Austrian EFKON Group, one of the leading companies in intelligent transportation and tolling solutions, has won two new large orders in Germany and Malaysia with a value in the double-digit million euro range. The company received a follow-up order for the delivery of On-Board Modules for the satellite-based truck tolling system in Germany. The German truck tolling system is one of the largest traffic telematic projects in the world. EFKON AG, one of the main suppliers of the German truck tolling system, has delivered communications equipment for toll collection

and equipped mobile toll enforcement vehicles with intelligent systems. The company has also developed portable toll enforcement solutions in Graz which are currently being employed very successfully nationwide in Germany. In March, EFKON succeeded in landing another large order in Malaysia comprising the delivery of 250,000 electronic toll collection units (OBUs). These intelligent devices are mounted on the inside of the windshield and allow for automatic, electronic toll collection in moving traffic without requiring the vehicle to stop. Visit:

Royal HaskoningDHV wins major tunnel contract Russian institute


nternational consultancy, engineering and project management firm Royal HaskoningDHV has been contracted for an immersed tunnel of more than 500 metres for Brazil’s largest seaport in Santos. The contract is worth €5 million. The tunnel will directly link the cities of Santos and Guarujá located on either side of the fairway leading to Brazil’s most important port. The advice provided by the engineers was instrumental in the decision by authorities in São Paulo to opt for an immersed tunnel. A bridge was ruled out because of the costs and the adverse

Alfa Laval wins marine environmental order from MAN


lfa Laval has won an order from MAN Diesel & Turbo to supply Alfa Laval PureSOx exhaust gas cleaning systems for two cruise ships. The order, which is for four scrubbers, is booked in the Marine & Offshore Systems segment. It has a value of approximately SEK 55 million and delivery is scheduled for 2013 16 Industry Europe

impact on the city. The tunnel will relieve the burden on the existing passenger ferry services and significantly reduce driving time for freight vehicles, that must currently make a detour of 50 kilometres when travelling to and from the port. The technology required for immersed tunnels is highly developed in the Netherlands and has been used for projects in the Netherlands including the Second Coen Tunnel (Amsterdam), the Second Benelux Tunnel (Rotterdam) and two tunnels in the route of the HSL-Zuid high-speed rail link. Visit:

and 2014. The Alfa Laval PureSOx exhaust gas cleaning systems will be installed onboard two luxury cruise liners, where they will remove over 98% of the sulphur oxides from the ship’s exhaust gas. By combining MAN’s engines with Alfa Laval’s PureSOx systems, these luxury cruise vessels can continue using heavy fuel oil instead of expensive, low-sulphur fuel and still meet

chooses MacArtney connectivity solutions


he leading Russian State Scientific Centre Yuzhmorgeologiya (YMG), has recently placed a significant order for SubConn® (especially Hard Anodised Aluminium and Micro Series types) and BurtonTM connectors, to interface its extensive range of underwater equipment. In total, YMG operates four specialised marine vessels and 110 items of research equipment. Several of these are interfaced by MacArtney connectivity solutions, especially ROVs, towed underwater survey and sensor systems. According to YMG deputy general director for R&D and Science, Andrey Tarasenko, “The achievement of safe connection and sealing of underwater instruments is key to the success of any survey operation.” Moreover, according to Mr Tarasenko, the choice of SubConn® connector is a good way to safeguard the quality of current surveys and future operations alike. Visit: the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) increasingly stringent requirements in Emission Controlled Areas (ECAs). “This order proves the technical acceptance among the largest players in the marine industry for our Alfa Laval PureSOx system,” says Lars Renström, president and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group. Visit:

WINNINGBUSINESS Mansell awarded £12 million student accommodation block


he Wellcome Trust has appointed Mansell, a Balfour Beatty brand, as their delivery partner for a new £12 million student accommodation block at 200 Euston Road, London. Construction

of the seven-storey project at Bentley House will be completed in time for the 2014 student intake. The scheme involves demolition of part of the existing building behind a retained façade and construction of a 171-bed accommodation block along with associated external works, services, lifts and ancillary areas. Once complete the building will be certified with a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating. Situated within close proximity to an area of high pedestrian footfall and heavy traffic, sensitive

demolition techniques and sophisticated logistics planning will be used throughout the duration of the contract to avoid disruption. An innovative piling solution, which will complete prior to the start of demolition works, will facilitate the seamless transition between an old and new sub-station. This latest contract award draws on Mansell’s considerable expertise in listed building conversion and structural alterations, adding to their extensive student accommodation portfolio. Visit:

Wärtsilä to design and power four Veidekke to build wind farm in Berlevåg new offshore support vessels V


ärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions and services provider, has been awarded a major contract to design a series of four multi-purpose platform support vessels (MPSVs) for Armada Offshore MPSV Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bumi Armada Berhad, a Malaysian-based international offshore oilfield services provider and also the largest owner and operator of offshore support vessels in Malaysia. Wärtsilä will also supply a comprehensive solutions package for each of the vessels. For each of the four vessels, this comprehensive solution contract comprises the basic customised design, the main power generation system, the propulsion system, the Wärtsilä Low Loss Concept (LLC) electrical system and the automation system. The unique WSD 1000 design is tailored to meet the specific requirements and operational modes demanded in complex off shore applications. At the same time, the interfaces during

the building process and detailing stage greatly benefit from both the design and the machinery being from the same supplier, Wärtsilä. The single supplier concept also reduces the time and costs associated with the procurement and logistics procedures, while easing typical project completion concerns. Visit:

CG awarded $60 million contract

This win showcases the widened product scope and extended capabilities of CG that enable the company to offer optimal solutions to customers who are looking for integrated systems in smart power transmission. The technological up-grade will help reach efficient power supply to end customers. The delivery will include all electrical engineering works, 12 power transformers, medium voltage and high


vantha Group Company CG has been awarded a major contract for $60 million for the turnkey construction of four high voltage GIS substations by the Electrical Transmission Project Office of the Ministry of Electricity (MOE) in Iraq. The company will design, manufacture, deliver and install the substations.

eidekke Entreprenør AS has been commissioned by Varanger Kraft to build infrastructure, foundations and a transformer building for the Raggovidda wind farm in Finnmark. The value of the contract is NOK 120 million excluding VAT. Veidekke will design and build infrastructure for the facility, which includes a 9km access road to the wind farm, about 12km of internal roads, parking spaces, cable trenches and foundations for 15 wind turbines. In addition, Veidekke will build a transformer building approximately 300m2 in size. “We have just handed over Lista Vindkraftverk to Fred Olsen Renewables, so this allows us to further utilise the expertise we have acquired. Wind farms are an exciting area that we want to pursue, and green energy is something we want to work with,” says project manager Kjell Skjølingstad of Veidekke. The 15 wind turbines will produce up to 45 MW (megawatts) installed capacity, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 9500 households. Veidekke is currently starting planning, and construction work in Berlevåg will start in June. The wind farm will be completed in late autumn 2014. Visit:

voltage Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) and SCADA/control and protection systems for the high voltage substations. 
 CEO and managing director Laurent Demortier said: “We thank the Ministry of Electricity in Iraq for renewing their trust in CG, which has supported Iraq for the last 25 years and helped build its electrical infrastructure.” Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

BASF and Atlas Copco join forces B

ASF and Atlas Copco have signed an agreement to cooperate on sprayed concrete technology and expertise for tunneling and mining, following the sale of BASF’s MEYCO Equipment business to Atlas Copco. “BASF’s expert knowledge in chemical solutions for sprayed concrete together with Atlas Copco’s global expertise in underground tunneling and mining equipment will drive the optimisation of sprayed concrete application,” said Daniel Ruckstuhl, vice-president and head of BASF’s Global Underground Construction business. “The cooperation between the two

market leaders creates a globally unmatched partnership to further develop sprayed concrete chemistry and equipment technology. This joint effort is formed to enable high performance solutions supporting safety and cost and time efficiency in tunneling and mining projects. We are pleased to announce this cooperation and look forward to working together,” he added. The demand for high quality, durable sprayed concrete which offers greater safety and reduces health risks and negative impact on the environment in tunneling and mining is ever increasing. Visit:

Trelleborg strengthens position in offshore oil & gas Dassault Systèmes


relleborg has, through its business area Trelleborg Offshore & Construction, signed an agreement and finalised the acquisition of the UK company Ambler Technologies Ltd. The company develops and produces composite materials that create strictly specified buoyancy and insulation properties in applications used primarily in

Snam, GIC and EDF sign definitive agreement with Total


he Consortium constituted by Snam, the Italian gas transport and storage operator (45%), GIC, the Singaporean sovereign fund (35%), and EDF (20%, through its dedicated assets for the dismantling of nuclear plants), has entered into a definitive agreement with the Total group for the acquisition of its gas

18 Industry Europe

deep-sea environments. The acquisition provides Trelleborg with access to cutting-edge expertise and expanded production capacity of strategically important components. It also strengthens Trelleborg’s position in oil and gas exploration and extraction, particularly in buoyancy modules for Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). The company’s head office and production facility are located outside the city of Manchester, UK. Net sales in 2012 amounted to approximately SEK 50 M with good profitability. “With a focus on customer-centric development, we are moving in the direction of increasingly engineered polymer solutions with a higher technology and knowledge content. The acquired operation commands unique expertise and experience in composite materials that complement our global offering, primarily in the exploration and extraction of oil and gas in deep-sea environments, but also in other interesting segments,” says Fredrik Meuller, president of the Trelleborg Offshore & Construction business area. Visit: transport and storage business in the SouthWest of France – TIGF (Transport et Infrastructures Gaz France). TIGF represents a strategic platform for the interconnection of the European gas markets, thus contributing to their further liquidity and guaranteeing security of supplies to France and Europe. Based in Pau and locally managed, TIGF employs approximately 500

acquires FE-DESIGN


assault Systèmes has announced the acquisition of FE-DESIGN Group, a leader in design optimisation for early-stage product development. The acquisition of FE-DESIGN, based in Karlsruhe, Germany, expands Dassault Systèmes’ SIMULIA applications to provide the most complete design optimisation solution on the market. With more than 200 global product manufacturer customers, including General Motors, BMW, SIEMENS, and Suzlon, FE-DESIGN is the technology leader for non-parametric optimisation solutions in both the structural and fluids-based domains. In a rapidly growing market, design exploration and optimisation techniques are becoming essential to balance the demands of product performance against resource efficiency and time to market constraints. FE-DESIGN’s products will enhance Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform and its ability to automate the process of simulating the right design more quickly and more efficiently. Visit: persons and operates a 5000km-long gas pipeline network and two important gas storage sites in Lussagnet and Izaute. Carlo Malacarne, Snam’s CEO and Thomas Piquemal, member of EDF’s executive committee and Group CFO, stated: “Today’s agreement marks an important milestone towards the acquisition of TIGF by the Consortium.” Visit:


E.ON and Sabanci ABB begin strategic A partnership in Turkey E .ON SE, Düsseldorf, has closed its acquisition of 50% of Enerjisa Enerji AS from Viennabased Verbund AG, completing the asset-swap agreement the two companies signed in December 2012. In return, Verbund acquired E.ON’s interest in a number of hydropower stations in Bavaria. E.ON and its strategic partner Sabanci, a major Turkish conglomerate that owns the other 50% of Enerjisa, will now work together to realise their ambitious plan for Enerjisa which reflects the shareholders’ strong commitment to the Turkish market. E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen said: “This marks another important milestone in E.ON’s development as a global energy solutions company. By finalising the acquisition of a stake in an established and successful power company with nearly 2 gigawatts already in operation, we’ve given E.ON a significant market position in Turkey, which is one of our target growth markets. This confirms E.ON’s strategic belief in the growing Turkish market and our faith in Enerjisa as a strong player in this market.” Visit:

Telenor acquires second largest mobile operator in Bulgaria


elenor has signed an agreement with OTE to acquire Bulgarian mobile operator Globul for a total amount of €717 million on a cash and debt free basis. Globul is the second largest mobile operator in Bulgaria with 4.5 million subscribers and a market share of 36%. The transaction also includes Germanos

to acquire Power-One

BB, the leading power and automation technology group, and Power-One, Inc., a leading provider of renewable energy and of energy-efficient power conversion and power management solutions, today announced that their boards of directors have agreed to a transaction in which ABB will acquire Power-One for $6.35 per share in cash or $1028 million equity value. The transaction would position ABB as a leading global supplier of solar inverters – the ‘intelligence’ behind a solar PV system – to a market forecasted by the International Energy Agency to grow by more than 10% per year until 2021. This rapid growth is being driven by rising energy demand, especially in emerging markets, rising electricity prices and declining costs. “Solar PV is becoming a major force reshaping the future energy mix because it is rapidly closing in on grid parity,” said ABB’s CEO, Joe Hogan.

“Power-One is a well-managed company and is highly regarded as a technology innovator focusing on the most attractive and intelligent solar PV product. The combination of Power-One and ABB is fully in line with our 2015 strategy and would create a global player with the scale to compete successfully and create value for customers, employees and shareholders.” Visit:

Alstom and Soyuz join forces in Russia


lstom Grid and Soyuz Holding have signed a joint venture agreement to manufacture and commercialise high voltage switchgear as part of ongoing efforts to modernise the Russian electrical grid. The joint venture will be owned 51% by Alstom Grid and 49% by Soyuz Holding and will be part of Alstom’s worldwide industrial organisation, benefiting from its industrial knowhow and technological expertise. It is a key milestone for Alstom Grid to address the Russian market, with its increasingly localised production of equipment for electricity transmission. The manufacturing deal includes the continued manufacture of 110–220 kV circuit breakers and an extension of the range up to 500 kV. It also foresees the introduction of a wider range of products, including disconnectors and

gas insulated substations. This equipment will be produced at Soyuz’s ‘High Voltage Switchgear Factory’ at Mozhaisk, near Moscow. This range of products, designed to cope with severe climate conditions, will contribute to the significant upgrade undertaken by Russia of its electricity transmission and distribution system, spanning over 2.1 million kilometres across the country. Visit:

Bulgaria, the leading telecom retailer in the country operationally integrated with Globul. “Based on our experience in Telenor’s well-performing operations in the region, we strongly believe that we will be able to create value in the Bulgarian market. By contributing with our scale and experience to Globul’s competence and market knowledge, we can offer even better quality and more advanced

services to Bulgarian customers,” says Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president and CEO of the Telenor Group. Telenor Group is currently present in Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro. The company is a leader in terms of mobile revenue share in Serbia and Montenegro. Globul has been present in Bulgaria since 2001. Visit: Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

BASF and PETRONAS Chemicals Group to build an integrated aroma ingredients complex in Malaysia


ASF and PETRONAS Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG) intend to invest USD 500 million (MYR 1.5 billion) in an integrated aroma ingredients project at their existing joint venture site BASF PETRONAS Chemicals in Gebeng, Kuantan. With this investment, the partners will help meet the globally growing demands of customers in the flavor and fragrance industry, especially in Asia Pacific.

At the heart of the complex will be a plant for citral and precursor plants. The partners will also invest in downstream production for aroma ingredients including a new world-scale plant for L-menthol and a plant for citronellol. Production will be developed in phases, with the first plants of the project operational in 2016, creating some 110 new employment opportunities.

“This investment is built on the solid, long-term relationship with our strategic partner PCG. Since the establishment of our joint venture, BASF and PCG have successfully served the needs of the region with high-quality and innovative products,” said Dr Martin Brudermüller, vice-chairman of the board of executive directors of BASF SE, responsible for Asia Pacific. Visit:

Solvay to build a speciality surfactant plant in Germany


olvay is to build a speciality surfactant plant at an industrial park in Genthin, Germany, close to Berlin. The unit will develop and produce surfactant solutions for Solvay’s home & personal care and industrial customers serving central and eastern Europe. “This investment advances the successful execution of our growth strategy, expanding production and development capabilities close to our markets and customers,”

said Emmanuel Butstraen, president of Solvay Novecare. “In addition to strengthening our presence in the region, siting our investments in established manufacturing zones enables us to competitively scale up production.” The plant will produce speciality surfactants that aid in the delivery of functional performance attributes such as cleansing, dispersal, moisturising and texturising qualities. Visit:

Daimler plans expansion of Romanian facility


he Daimler AG board of management has decided to expand the MercedesBenz Cars powertrain production at the Romanian Daimler subsidiary, Star Transmission. For the production of a new generation of automatic transmissions more than €280 million will be invested in Romania. Overall, the company plans investments of more than €300 million there. Additional capacities will be built up in view of the high capacity utilisation as well as the lack of space for further expansion of transmission production in Stuttgart. “Star Transmission has been a reliable partner of our German powertrain locations for over 10 years. According to the current planning status and based on our excellent experience with Star Transmission, the preferred option for providing the additionally required assembly

New Mitsubishi Electric laser cutting division in Poland


itsubishi Electric Europe BV has established a new laser processing division to cover central and eastern Europe (CEE). Located in Mitsubishi Electric’s CEE headquarter in Balice, Poland, the LPM (Laser Processing Machines) division will provide complete laser processing machine

20 Industry Europe

capacities in a flexible manner is to expand the activities there,” explains Peter Schabert, head of Powertrain Production and head of the MercedesBenz Untertürkheim plant. Visit:

services for users as well as technical training, and will work with distributors to develop the business in the region. The first CEE distributor for the laser processing machines has been announced as Polteknik LTD Sp. Z o.o. Polteknik has more than 22 years’ experience in the metals industry and has established a strong reputation in the field of CNC machine sales. It also pro-

vides a range of complementary technologies such as cutters and press brakes. Visit:



New deputy chief executive officer at Bouygues Construction F ollowing the proposal of chairman and CEO Yves Gabriel, the board of directors of Bouygues Construction has appointed Philippe Fabié as deputy chief executive officer of Bouygues Construction. Philippe Fabié, aged 61, is a graduate of the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Lyon. He joined Bouygues Construction in June 2000 as CEO of its regional subsidiary GFC Construction (south-east France). In February 2003, he was appointed CEO of Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France, then chairman and CEO at the end of 2004.

Festo appoints new business New director of Corporate Social development manager Responsibility at France Telecom-Orange F B rigitte Dumont has been appointed director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for France Telecom Orange, replacing Marc Fossier

who has taken on new responsibilities within the Group. She will be reporting to Christine Albanel, who, on 1st May, will take up the position of executive vice-president for CSR, Events, Partnerships & Solidarity. Brigitte Dumont’s main mission will be to pursue the group’s policy of responsibility with regards to its various stakeholders and to help make Orange a reference in terms of CSR in the telecommunications sector. Formerly the group’s deputy vice-president of Human Resources, 54-year old Brigitte Dumont first joined France Telecom-Orange in 1991.

esto, the leading automation supplier, has appointed Tony Gillard as new business development manager, Process Automation, with a focus on the water and wastewater treatment industry. Recognising the significant role the water industry will play in the future, Festo has created this new position to support customers with the development of reliable automation solutions, enabling them to save time, money and resources, and increase efficiencies. In his new role, Tony is responsible for growing Festo’s business in the water industry, with a specific focus on valve actuators and control systems.

Streit Group UK appoints new general manager


treit Group, the world’s largest privately-owned vehicle armouring company, has announced the appointment of David Winner to the key position of general manager, Streit Group UK. Opened in London in 2012, the UK subsidiary is responsible for all of the group’s sales and marketing operations across Europe and for consulting on European defence and security requirements and design solutions. David Winner has joined Streit after a 32-year career in the British Army during which he was entirely focused on armoured vehicles. He has been involved at all levels, from vehicle user to trials and development work to the short notice introduction of new platforms for operations.

Reiner Winkler to become chief executive officer of MTU Aero Engines


he supervisory board of MTU Aero Engines Holding AG has appointed the current chief financial officer Reiner Winkler (51) to become chief executive officer (CEO), effective 1 January 2014. He succeeds Egon Behle (57), who is no longer available for a contract extension.

In his new position as CEO, Reiner Winkler will keep his current role as chief financial officer and take on additional central functions. Winkler said: “I am very pleased about the confidence expressed by the supervisory board and the possibility to continue the success story of MTU, together with my colleagues in the board of management.” Industry Europe 21



Advances in technology across industry

Putting ‘smart mobility’ into maintenance and repairs


cientists from IBM have revealed a mobile maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) prototype which is designed to help manufacturers and companies supplying and maintaining high-value machinery in sectors such as aerospace, oil & gas and shipping. The mobile system, using a combination of augmented reality and robotics, will help field engineers accurately locate equipment, provide them with critical information and receive real-time visual support from supervising experts based remotely. A remote expert is able to view the on-site engineer’s workspace and support them with real-time video and audio links using a camera and a small projector mounted at the end of a remotely controlled robotic arm. The expert, from his management console, is also able to project a pointer and valuable information such as free-hand sketches, assembly instructions and CAD images directly onto the workspace or a nearby wall. Visit:

Redefining the kilogram Energy from the oceans M

ETTLER TOLEDO has developed a new microgram load cell for use in an experiment aimed at establishing a new definition of the kilogram. The kilogram is the last unit of the International System of Units (SI) still based on an artifact – the international prototype of the kilogram (IPK), kept at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). Mass comparisons with the IPK have indicated a mean drift in the official IPK copies of 0.5 µg/year. To get better stability, scientists have been working on a new definition of the kilogram based on a physical constant of nature, which should be reproducible regardless of geographical location. The new load cell is a critical element in the Swiss based leg of this global challenge headed by the Swiss Federal Office of Metrology (METAS). In a 15-year project, METAS has been using a Watt balance in a twophase experiment: weighing and moving. In the weighing phase, a macroscopic mass and a coil are suspended from a balance with the coil placed in a magnetic field. Using the principle of electromagnetic force restoration, the current needed to compensate for the addition of the weight is measured. In the moving phase, a voltage is induced in the same coil by moving it vertically within the same magnetic field. The voltage measured is directly related to the speed of the movement of the coil. By comparing the two experiments, an equation is derived in which the electrical power is related to the mechanical power, hence the name Watt balance. Collaborative partners in the project include the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) for the movement system, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) for the magnetic system and METTLER TOLEDO for their expertise in mass comparison. Visit:

22 Industry Europe


ockheed Martin has announced that it is working with Reignwood Group to develop an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) pilot power plant off the coast of southern China. The 10-megawatt offshore plant, to be designed by Lockheed Martin, will be the largest OTEC project developed to date, supplying 100% of the power needed for a green resort to be built by Reignwood Group. OTEC takes the natural temperature difference found in the ocean in tropical regions and uses it to create power. This technology is well-suited to island and coastal communities where energy transportation costs typically make other sources of power very expensive. The process provides a native power source to areas, and, like other renewable energy technologies, OTEC plants will be clean, sustainable and powered by free fuel. Unlike other renewable energy technologies, this power is also base load, meaning it can be produced consistently 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A commercial-scale OTEC plant will have the capability to power a small city. Visit:



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on French bitterness over de-industrialisation.


ill Lakshmi Mittal! This is the goal of a new French video game which symbolises the militancy of France’s unions that many blame for the decline of the country’s once mighty industrial sector. In the online game, players hurl barrels and rocks at police outside the loss-making steel blast furnaces in Florange, eastern France, which the Indian tycoon closed down. The British-based billionaire himself appears in the game as a robot who must be bludgeoned to death, as a text on the screen reads: “The year is 2030. Mittal has closed the majority of steel factories worldwide, tossing out thousands of steelworkers. For these men tired of unfulfilled promises and repeated closures, when all mediation has failed, there is just one solution: Kill Mittal.” Once the Mittal robot is defeated, however, the game finally reminds the player that although Mittal has been killed, he will quickly be replaced by someone similar. The Mittal row began in December when the boss of the Arcelor Mittal steel conglomerate announced he was axing 630 jobs at the Florange plant, blaming lack of demand from the vehicle industry. When President Hollande threatened to nationalise the factory, Mr Mittal called his bluff by threatening to close down all his operations in France, where his company employs 20,000 people. A deal was finally struck where Mr Mittal could close down two blast furnaces in Florange as long as he promised to find new jobs for the redundant workers – but it ended with France’s industry minister Arnaud Montebourg announcing on live TV: “I have to tell you that Lakshmi Mittal is using blackmail and lies. Quite simply, we don’t want him in France any more.” The video game’s creator Alexandre Grilletta has insisted it is simply a ‘bit of fun’ with the right ingredients of heroes and baddies that make a good game. But many in France

see it as epitomising France’s unrealistic approach to work, where unions will continue to demand short working hours and lavish pensions as their companies’ profits plunge. And it is Mr Montebourg’s bristling attitude to hard-nosed foreign investors which is being blamed for the current socialist government’s failure to revive France’s dwindling industrial base. Only a month after the Mittal drama, another spat erupted between Montebourg and Maurice Taylor, the boss of US tyre giant Titan, who announced he was refusing to buy a Goodyear plant in northern France because the workers were ‘lazy, overpaid and talk too much’. In a letter sent out to French newspapers, Mr Taylor wrote: “They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three hours and work for three. I told the French union workers this to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!” Furious Mr Montebourg hit back with his own letter, telling Mr Taylor his comments were ‘extremist and insulting’ and that he knew nothing about France – but the Goodyear plant in Amiens is now set to close with the loss of more than 1000 jobs. French daily Le Figaro wrote: “Mr Montebourg’s spats with international companies are making France look like an increasingly unappealing place to do business. Perhaps, in fairness to Montebourg, he is not so much the problem, but the symbol of it. Quite simply, it costs bosses too much to hire workers that make things that cost too little.”

Too late? Fears over the stagnation of France’s economy come as the latest figures show the country’s economy had no growth in 2012 and shrank by 0.8 per cent in the first three months of 2013. Unemployment is already at a 30-year high of 10.5 per cent and forecast to rise to 11.6 per cent next year.

President Francois Hollande has announced a three-stage ‘re-industrialisation plan’, involving up to a 6 per cent rebate for companies on some payroll taxes, labour reforms that make it easier to fire employees or reduce wages and a state-run investment bank with €42 billion to invest in small businesses. But Anders Aslund, an economist with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington DC, said: “This is exactly what you should not do. They are complicating instead of simplifying. The government should avoid giving grants for specific industries and instead help all industries with permanent tax breaks. To my knowledge, France is the only country in Europe that is upset about outsourcing.” Mr Aslund said of the Florange blast furnaces: “They tried to keep it open in spite of the fact that local mines are used up, it’s far from ports and its furnaces are out of date. That plant is a perfect example of what you should close down.” And economist Elie Cohen, of the prestigious Science Po university in Paris, added: “The goal of re-industrialisation is a perfectly legitimate goal. The only question to ask for France is whether it’s too late. I believe it’s probably too late.” And with Mr Hollande’s popularity now at 25 per cent – the lowest of any French leader in 50 years – the chief economist at France’s AXA insurance group Eric Chaney has compared the president’s predicament to that of Alice in ‘Through the Looking Glass’ when she is told by the Red Queen: “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.” Mr Chaney added: “The situation is much worse in France in the past year. Italy and Spain are implementing reforms. France is doing nothing. So it is getting closer to the periphery of weaker European nations. What the queen said to Alice applies to France.” n Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the city’s still unfinished new airport.


hat started out as Germany’s most prestigious building project has now morphed into a national disgrace that is the butt of jokes from TV hosts to club comedians. Delays in the opening of Berlin’s new international aviation hub, BER, are costing tens of millions of euros each month. The latest of altogether four delays in the opening of the German capital’s new international airport is costing up to €40 million every month, airport chief Hartmut Mehdorn admitted at the start of May. German business daily ‘Handelsblatt’ said extra money was being spent on maintenance at the new BER aviation hub as well as on Mehdorn’s construction programme called ‘Sprint’ and modernisation work at the old Berlin Tegel airport which has to be kept open much longer than originally envisaged. The new airport has so far been delayed for technical reasons, including an insufficient fire protection system. So far, officials put the overall costs of the new hub at €4.3 billion. But if the airport is not opened before the end of next year, spending looks set to soar well beyond €5 billion. For a nation that prides itself on technical excellence, whose machine tools, fridges, cars, turbines, ships and trucks are bywords for quality the world over, what has happened at BER is both baffling and humiliating. Willy Brandt International Airport, named for Germany’s famed Cold War leader, was supposed to have been up and running in late 2011, a new airport fit for a new capital of a confident, economically powerful nation. But it has become synonymous instead with bad planning, inept management and catastrophic cost overruns that, as of yet, have no end in sight. The list of technical problems to overcome runs into the tens of thousands – and that includes how to turn the lights off! Insiders say that the computer system that runs 24 Industry Europe

it is so sophisticated “it is almost impossible for a human being to operate it.” Empty commuter trains are brought out daily to roll along the new railway line linking it with the city to keep the rail lines from rusting over. Escalators that were too short for the terminal buildings had to be ripped out and reinstalled. Tiles intended to withstand the tramp of millions of pairs of feet had to be ripped out and replaced after cracking without a single step being taken upon them.

For a nation that prides itself on technical excellence, whose machine tools, fridges, cars, turbines, ships and trucks are bywords for quality the world over, what has happened at BER is both baffling and humiliating. The hammer blows to German pride and efficiency have been married to a culture of political dishonesty, say critics. Politicians were not forthcoming about the problems that could have lain in store for the prestige project when it was first announced. “Many politicians want prestigious largescale projects to be inseparably connected with their names,” said Sebastian Panknin, a financial expert with the Taxpayer’s Association Germany. “To get these expensive projects started, they artificially calculate down the real costs to get permission from parliament or other committees in charge.” “The airport is a classic example of the incompetence of our politicians,” said Sven Fandrich, a 28-year-old Berliner who works

for an insurance company. “We’ve seen this happen with many big infrastructure projects in Germany. Nobody feels responsible. The politicians are more concerned about winning the next elections than devoting their service to the people.”

Problems from the start There have been other bungled building projects in Germany of late – a new concert hall in Hamburg and a subway system in Cologne are but two – yet they pale into insignificance compared to the catastrophe of Willy Brandt International Airport. The initial plan foresaw building a stateof-the-art airport that would be financed by private investors and replace the city’s two Cold War airports – Tegel in former West Berlin and Schoenefeld in what was the Communist east. But after a series of disputes with private investors, the city, state and federal governments eventually took over the airport project. In 2006, costs were estimated at €2 billion, but after four delays, the figure spiked to €4.4 billion. Companies like Air Berlin, Germany’s second biggest carrier, have been severely affected by the delays and are suing for lost revenues. Small businesses like coffee shops, restaurants, retail stores or bus operators – who had already hired staff and invested in new stores at the airport – are facing bankruptcy. Now comes the threat of a new problems. Aviation experts are warning that by its inauguration date, the airport will already be too small to handle the rising number of passengers. The nearly 3.9 millionsquare-foot airport complex was designed to handle 27 million passengers. But the existing two city airports handled 25 million passengers last year – and the city keeps attracting more visitors every year. “The airport is too expensive, too small and too much behind time,” said aviation n expert Dieter Faulenbach da Costa.

FINDING NEW MARKETS Assan Hanil Otomotiv is a part of the large Turkish conglomerate Kibar Holding. The automotive parts manufacturer was established in 1996 in partnership with Hanil E-Hwa of Korea and since then its three main product groups have been seats, NVH and trim parts, and plastic injection and blow moulds. The company has now received substantial investment and is planning to expand in every direction. The company’s sales director, Ömer Küçüksavaş, answered Industry Europe’s questions.


Küçüksavaş explains that having first operated as a supplier only to Hyundai Assan, Assan Hanil then began to occupy a significant position amongst suppliers to Ford-Otosan in 2005. The company has recently succeeded in widening its client portfolio even further, by adding major car manufacturers Isuzu and Honda. Assan Hanil produces auto parts such as passenger and driver 24 Industry Europe

seats, door panels, ceiling and rug covers, rear parcel shelves, front and rear bumpers, front control panels, and inflated parts at its 30,000m2 factory facility, which houses a dynamic team of nearly 500 employees. Moreover, it has also been working hard to be in a position to generate tailor-made solutions not only for manufacturers of cars, but also for makers of any type of transport vehicle.

An expert in seat manufacturing Assan Hanil makes a huge range of products and applications for automotive interiors and exteriors such as robotic welding for seat frames, ultrasonic and vibration welding, plastic injection, laser scoring, robotic water jet cutting, robotic painting and so on. However, the main contributor to the company’s turnover has been its seat manufacturing operation, which is the reason why the company has

tended to specialise somewhat in this area. Mr Küçüksavaş states that the firm’s research and development department was awarded 12 new patents for seat development over the course of the last two years, and is currently working to develop products such as air suspension driver seats and plastic seats, while improving the manufacture of seat components with the use of composite materi-

als. According to Mr Küçüksavaş, the biggest advantage of this particular product group is that it is not limited to the automotive industry. Although their biggest customers are currently all car manufacturers, Assan Hanil’s management has been making firm efforts to expand into other markets, and has identified their target groups as the aviation industry, railway train manufacturers and the shipbuilding industry.

Moving towards Russia and China Assan Hanil’s main method of promoting its products is through its attendance at international trade fairs and expos such as Busworld and Automechanika. Mr Küçüksavaş states that the next exhibition that the company will attend will be Automechanika Shanghai 2013. This is a strategic decision, as the company now has advanced plans

Industry Europe 25

to move into the Chinese market. Alongside these plans to diversify their markets and regions of operation, the company has put together a strategy to begin expanding its sales team in 2014.

Turkey is currently Assan Hanil’s largest market but Mr Küçüksavaş says that company executives have already made contacts in Russia and China, and their market research indicates that there is a huge poten-

tial for new products in these markets. They have already had encouraging contact with Russian OEMs and expect to gain successful results from the Automechanika trade fair. All of this is supported by the company’s ability to guarantee a high standard of quality. Assan Hanil currently holds the ISO/TS 16949, ISO 14001, 2011 OHSAS 18001, Q1 and 5 Star Quality System certificates, and has raised the bar in its work for transportation vehicles with its commitment to development, having founded an in-house R&D centre to guarantee continuity in the quality of its products and services. This centre was certified and supported by the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Commerce, something that is only achieved by companies that have particularly distinguished themselves in the country.

Continuous investment Mr Küçüksavaş talks about Assan Hanil’s recent $40 million investment in the construction of a new plant and paint shop. According to Mr Küçüksavaş, this investment alone will double their sales figures, and help position 26 Industry Europe

them as the biggest supplier for Hyundai Turkey. Although the company already holds all the necessary quality system certificates, Mr Küçüksavaş insists that they will continue to work to raise the bar in terms of quality and commitment to protect the environment. One way it does so is to continue investing in new technologies, while another is its implementation of a flawless quality management system aimed at zero defect, absolute customer satisfaction and timely deliveries. The company also operates under strict environmental guidelines and is committed to ensuring productivity by reducing waste and energy consumption through a process of waste separation and recovery that is in absolute compliance with the strictest regulations.

From automobiles to trains and boats With regards to the company’s next five-year plan, Mr Küçüksavaş says “We have a plan to enter new markets. After the paint shop investment we are preparing a feasibility study for a third plant. We also aim to expand our products to enter the marine and railway sectors and offer a broader product range.” n

Industry Europe 27

28 Industry Europe

SAFETY FIRST Britax Römer produces a wide range of child safety products, from car seats and baby carriers to bicycle seats and prams, plus complete travel systems for maximum flexibility.


ormerly part of the Childcare Division of Britax International, Römer was taken out of the group in 2006 when the Childcare Division was separated. The Britax name remains as a brand in the UK but the European company uses the Britax Römer label. Childcare covers pushchairs, car seats and bicycle seats – in short the whole area of safe travel for children. The products are known worldwide, but in Australia, for example, different brand names are used. Within Europe, every country is covered, including those of the former Soviet Union. From its base in Ulm, Germany, Römer manufactures and distributes high quality safety products. The company’s mission statement is ‘the protection of children in road traffic’. In German-speaking regions of Europe, Römer is the market leader in child car safety seats. It is also the market leader in central Europe. With its own marketing operation, products are sold via all distribu-

tion channels including nursery shops, vehicle manufacturers, department stores, supermarkets and mail order houses. There is also a UK manufacturing facility in Andover, plus subsidiaries in France, Finland and Sweden, and an agent in Italy. In 2012, Britax Römer won a coveted ‘Red Dot Award: Product Design 2012’ for its TRIFIX car seat. The 30-strong jury were impressed by its combination of a thoughtful, highly functional concept and an almost puristic, elegant design with an emphasis on simplicity.

A progression of seats Capturing first-time customers is important, because this is definitely not a one-size-fits-all business, and equipment must be updated as the child grows. “Babies have to leave hospital in an infant carrier,” explains a company representative. “That takes babies from new born to nine months. It’s really all done by the child’s weight, so you would then go to

a Group 1 car seat which will take them to the age of four. There is a lot of pressure to get children out of car seats by this age.” When the child gets older it should have a Booster Seat; these are for the four to eleven age range and are designed primarily to seat the child so that the lap section of the car’s seat belt is correctly positioned to provide the normal, expected protection. By this age children have stopped using seats with integral restraints. Style is another factor to be taken into consideration, so the company offers different ranges for different tastes. This is more to suit the child than its parents. Children inevitably reach an age when a special seat is associated with being ‘a baby’. “Well, it’s our job to design a seat that, say an eight year old, is happy to sit in,” says the company representative. “So in addition to the necessary safety factors we have to incorporate ‘cool’ features that appeal to them – a

holder for their Coke can or a mount for their i-Pod or mobile phone, reading light for night travel or whatever. Then they’ll get involved in choosing the seat themselves.” Within the UK, Britax is a dominant player with over 40 per cent of the market share, but it is also strong in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia. Even throughout the global financial downturn of recent years, people still needed to buy safety products like car seats.

Product development Worldwide, the group has around 70 people involved in research and development, of whom 20 are in Europe – 10 in each of the Ulm and Andover facilities. Römer’s development section utilises the most modern 3D-CAD equipment for the design of new products, and equipment with the capability of creating computer

simulation of accident loads. In impact tests for accident simulation on the company’s own test rig, dummies equipped with accelerometers and dynamometers are used. The values are measured and the film evaluations of the motion sequence form the basis for the development of effective and ergonomic child safety systems. In test laboratories duration tests are also performed which prove the functioning of components under various loads. Specially designed devices and measuring equipment are used. As with all aspects of the business, keeping up to date is essential, making change a normal part of the business, as the company representative explains, “Technology and legislation change so quickly that even the Britax products of a few years ago will not conform to today’s requirements. Priorities will continue to change. A few years ago

the focus was on forward and backward impacts but then the matter of side impacts took on a new emphasis.” For the future, he considers that the emphasis will be on simplicity of products n and less weight.

INNOVATIVE SYSTEMS FOR A GLOBAL MARKET With its innovative systems and global reach, Cooper Standard Automotive Inc. is a leading automotive supplier with a clear focus on ecological and technological improvement.


ooper Standard Automotive Inc. has a real global reach, proven by its more than 70 locations in 19 countries and by its 21,000 employee workforce, and it offers solutions in the body sealing, fuel, brake and emissions, thermal management and antivibration segments of the industry. Specifically, its range of products includes fuel and brake delivery systems and emission management technologies; complete heat-

ing and cooling management components and systems for hybrids, electric vehicles, and internal combustion engines and power trains; body sealing solutions to keep noise, dust and water away from vehicle occupants; as well as a complete range of anti-vibration control products. The group, established in 1960 and headquartered in Novi, Michigan (USA), has been growing through a series of acquisi-

tions and organic growth, and operates with a mission stating its aim as that of ‘providing outstanding service, support and innovative solutions to our customers, benefiting all stakeholders of Cooper Standard’. In Europe the company supplies all the major OEMs in the automotive sector and in each country is focused on fulfilling the needs of its local market. Germany hosts three of the company’s sites, one in Landau and two in

Decoleta, PLC. specialises in the production of small precise components up to 20 mm in diameter with the tolerance of hundredths of a mm and surface quality from Rz4 in the quantity from ten thousand to one million items per year. The main parts of the production are supplies for our clients who engage mainly in the car industry. A significant portion of the products are intended for further processing in electronics, white goods and measuring instruments. The company currently owns 39 one-spindle and 4 multi-spindle automatic lathes. The company has 97 employees. The company’s turnover last year was more than 5.5 million Euros. The company’s upward trend will continue throughout 2013.

Decoleta, a.s., Hruskove Dvory 58, 586 01 Jihlava – Czech Republic Tel : (+ 420) 567 113 465 - Fax: (+ 420) 567 113 466 E-mail: -

Mannheim. In Germany the company specialises in manufacturing sealing parts for leading German automotive manufacturers. Here the company operates with a high level of integration with the group. In fact, in Germany there is a common management team which can avail itself of the support and the solid foundations of the global company. The company occupies a market-leading position in Germany in terms of sealing products for European OEMs, thanks to its wide portfolio offer.

In fact, central to the group’s offer of integrated solutions, there is operational excellence, firmly rooted in quality and lean initiatives, supply chain management and capacity optimisation, alongside invaluable human resources, in the form of an experienced management team, expert engineers, and manufacturing and professional staff. This operational excellence is accompanied by a real culture of innovation. Tangible proof of this commitment can be found in the awards held

by Cooper Standard, which include PACE, Society of Plastic Engineers, Global Six Sigma Award Best Achievement of Design and Six Sigma, as well as by the over 500 patents obtained worldwide. Community and employee involvement are part of the life of the group, alongside green initiatives, which over the last few years have been of increasing importance. Continuous research and effort are channelled into improving a vehicle’s overall carbon

footprint. Alongside this Cooper Standard carries out constant work on enhancing its manufacturing processes, thus reducing its own company emissions and increasing recyclability. The R&D department at the Mannheim site which, thanks to conspicuous investments, is equipped with cuttingedge testing and engineering facilities, is very focused on research aimed at improving products and processes at environmen-

tal levels. Products comply with E05/E06 regulations with regard to cleaner emissions, and this is an area of development that has been growing in recent years.

A wider offer, still keeping a green heart An ecological frame of mind is important for both environmental and commercial reasons and thanks to its focus on innovation, as well as to the company commitment

to quality and service, new solutions offer advantages in ecological terms, as well as in terms of better performance and better comparative pricing. While in the past the company had a focus on supplying the actual sealing, in the last few years Standard Cooper has increasingly widened its offer to include complete sealing systems fulfilling customers’ demands, with the advantage that now

clients only have to deal with one supplier for the whole system. In fact, in recent times, the strategy has been one of widening the products portfolio, alongside the continual improvement of the existing offer. At the global level, Cooper Standard Automotive, which is a sponsor and partner of Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR), is witnessing the rapid growth of non-traditional Cooper Standard markets, namely markets adjacent to the light vehicle sector, as well as other key areas, such as commercial vehicles, off-highway, power sports, marine, construction and other

speciality segments. This creates an excellent opportunity for the company to leverage its technical capabilities in order to provide more solutions to customers outside the automotive OEM market. This area is taken care of by Cooper Standard’s Performance Products Group, which combines the former businesses of StanPro in North America, Technical Rubber Products and Specialty Products Group in Europe, and Tecalemit in Australia. Despite the current economic situation, mainly affecting volumes on the European market, and an unfavourable foreign exchange

rate, the company has been able to reaffirm its sales outlook for 2012, thanks to a volume increase in North America. In the words of its chief executive officer, Jeffrey Howard: “Our global footprint has been invaluable in managing headwinds in challenging markets. Cooper Standard has been able to deliver a relatively strong quarter despite lower volumes and ongoing weakness in Europe. As we support our customers, Cooper Standard will continue to win diverse global platform business, while focusing on meeting the demand for more fueln efficient technologies.”

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BREAKING THROUGH THE ECONOMIC GLOOM While many countries in Europe are discussing rescue plans for their troubled economies, Turkey quietly continues to grow, in part thanks to the investments from its solid base of manufacturing businesses, many of which are family run. Hüner Group Companies are typical of these businesses, and have been manufacturing spare parts for the automobile industry since 1975. Its general manager, Ergun Günevi, talked to Aynur Adiller about the company’s development.

36 Industry Europe


üner Group’s first member, Hüner Kriko, was founded by Hüseyin Karabacak, when, while working as Chief of the Acquisitions Cost Analysis Department of the TOFAS, a FIAT subsidiary, he observed problems with the Italian car jacks that the company used for lifting windshields and decided to set up his own firm to manufacture these parts domestically. Ergün Günevi now remembers fondly the days when the company began production of in a 12m2 workshop, selling its jacks to Mr Karabacak’s former employer. A decade later, as demand for TOFAS products increased, Hüner Group benefitted from bigger contracts and began a period of growth. The company then took on new

partners and became an established family business in 1985. In 1989, it opened a new production facility in the Demirtaş Organised Industrial Zone (DOSAB) in the city of Bursa, upgrading from its workshop to a large factory with a 12,040m2 enclosed facility and 7000m2 of open land. With this bigger facility the company was able to expand its product and service portfolio to include the manufacture of metal sheets and pipes and metal injection capabilities and thus offered complete products suitable for various assemblies. Initially it continued to produce parts exclusively for TOFAS, but later also began to serve other companies, including Continental Contitech, Tristone, Hutchinson, Veritas, Avon Automotive and FIAT.

Moving into exports As Mr Günevi explains, in 2002, as the Turkish state was encouraging its manufacturers to focus on exports, the company began to make investments to gain the quality assurance certification needed in order to open itself up to new markets. This was another key turning point for the Hüner Group, which a few years later led to the acquisition of new customers, as the company was able to offer a more complete range of services to the automotive industry. In 2009, it made another significant investment when it bought a factory in the Hasanağa Organized Industrial Zone (HOSAB) which it allocated solely to the manufacture of formed metal pipes. This 17,000m2 factory

Industry Europe 37

is highly efficient as it is built on only one floor where the pipes are cut, bent, end formed, welded, tested and packed all under one roof. The factory now has thirteen fully automated pipe bending machines and nine welding robots, and 90–95 per cent of its products are exported. Some of the pipes, which are designed and tested entirely in-house, are used in the latest models of Jaguar Land Rovers and Porsche.

The fourth stage: A move into aviation? Speaking of the effects of the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent instability in the Eurozone, Mr Günevi states that the ill-effects were relatively limited in Turkey and highlights the importance of the company using its own capital to be able to continue investments, rather than relying on bank credits. He also describes how, although the economic difficulties led to the Hüner Group losing some profits from older projects, it was able to compensate by adapting to the changing needs of the market. In 2011, the Hüner Group chose to make investments in aluminium and ordered the state-of-the-art 1540 UST (6”) high capacity aluminium extrusion line. At the beginning of 2013 the line began production of aluminium profiles in a variety of sizes, particularly for use by the automotive sector. The Group has grown even further after its investment in a new mould design and production plant which began to be put into place in 2012 and is expected to start production in the second half of 2013. The company’s

know-how in this area has been developing at their plant at DOSAB since 1989. Its expertise in the area will be used extensively in the fourth factory and it is from here that, aside from the automotive sector that the company has been serving for numerous years, it also plans to enter a new area by responding to the needs of the aviation and railway industries.

Scope for growth Together, Hüner’s factories are currently working at two-thirds under capacity and with a fourth plant on the way there is plenty of scope for growth. Mr Günevi says that the company’s turnover has increased by 25 per cent from 2009 to the end of 2012, reaching 17 million Turkish lira. The company has plans to increase this to 25 million. Some of this growth is expected to come from exports – the company’s most important markets being in Germany and Italy, with other clients in Portugal, Poland, Macedonia, France, China and the USA. Mr Günevi says that the company’s export ratio currently stands at around 65 per cent and he hopes it will reach 70 per cent by the end of this year. He also explains that all four production facilities are now registered as separate entities, meaning that Hüner is now established as a group of companies. Executives are focusing heavily on improving management processes and establishing conventions to enable the different companies to share information, control processes and to follow n through on established targets.

Industry Europe 39


Market leading manufacturer of plastic safety glazing and plastic finish coating, KRD company group, is proud to offer a range of customised products under the brand name KASIGLAS® that ‘combine safety with a clear view’. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the director of quality management, Juergen Schmitz, to find out how this is being achieved.


RD puts safety first. The European market leader in plastic safety glazing and plastic finish coating provides added security for many of Europe’s police forces, important buildings and constructions and large-scale forestry operations by offering the functional coating of transparent plastics under the KASIGLAS® brand, delivering protection from harmful influences. KRD’s dedication to safety is at the heart of both its day-to-day activities and its ongoing development of new products. Industry Europe spoke to Juergen Schmitz, director of quality management for KRD, to learn more about how the company delivers its promise of ‘safety first’. He said, “Everything we do is dedicated to safety; it’s what we do. KRD sells safety to our customers with KASIGLAS® products. We make sure we understand exactly the types of challenges and dangers that our customers face when they are at work, or the requirements they have for

their end users when it comes to construction projects. We work together to develop safetyfirst solutions that draw on our unrivalled experience in manufacturing plastic safety glazing and coated plastics.”

Promising protection The safety-first solutions produced by KRD are primarily functional coated plastic glazing for applications where advanced safety and protection is required. Many European police forces use KASIGLAS® products in their vehicles, and harvesters used in agriculture also use KASIGLAS®. Mr Schmitz continued, “Riot police gear often uses KASIGLAS® for added protection in the visors, and agricultural machinery uses KASIGLAS® safety glazing, including windscreens for protection from falling debris. We’re also increasingly working alongside high performance sports car manufacturers such as Lamborghini, Bugatti and Porsche as our lightweight polycarbonate

offers incredible safety yet is half the weight of traditional glass side, rear and roof windows.” An up-coming change in regulations concerning the automotive sector may serve as a boost to plastic glazing. Current regulations state that coated plastics are not allowed to be used for windscreens, so the potential addition of plastic material that can be used for the windscreen is very interesting. Mr Schmitz added, “If a police car that is fitted with KASIGLAS® in all positions, including windscreens (specially permitted by state authorities for police cars) is sold on the open market it has to be changed to standard glass. While this discussion has been ongoing for some time, we are actively involved in the possible change of UN regulation ECE43 and we hope to see it in force by 2014.” KRD products can be found in applications beyond its core automotive sector, including road construction where it is used for noise protection purposes, in helicopter

windscreens, architecture and urban development projects, antistatic-coated machine protection glazing and the increasingly popular electric vehicle sector.

Customised as standard In all its active sectors, KRD’s teams enjoy working directly with its customers to develop tailor-made solutions that perfectly meet the demand. Mr Schmitz continued, “We don’t have a standard product that we try to sell.

We develop safety-first solutions and we work closely with our customers to ensure that the final product we offer is in perfect tune with their requirements. We can do whatever the customer wants and we work with their designers to guarantee that the plastic safety glazing fits in with their goal for the product or project. We’ re very much a niche company, even though we are growing steadily, and high volume production is not our goal. We prefer to work with customers

that need and want high quality products that have safety at their heart. KRD lets our customers keep their customers safe.” Innovation is key to KRD’s ongoing success, with the company investing continually to maintain its market-leading position. It has recently invested more than €10 million in state-of-the-art production facilities just 16km away from its current site, with production here expected to commence in 2014. Mr Schmitz pointed out that this development was made following careful assessment of the market. He

said, “We are always analysing market potential and making sure that our solutions are right for today and for tomorrow. As we work so closely with our customers it is not just a case of developing new products, but rather working on innovative solutions that we can offer our customers during the customisation process. For example, we have recently launched a very exciting bullet-proof compound that ‘holds on’ to a bullet without shattering the glazing; this has been fantastically well-received by the European police community.”

Established in Geesthacht, Germany, KRD is most active in Europe and Scandinavia, with a particularly strong performance in Germany, Sweden and France. The company is also keen to raise awareness of its brand in other European countries. Mr Schmitz continued, “We want to build relationships and further boost our profile within Europe. We have great relationships with the European police community and our KASIGLAS® safety glazing is installed in a huge number of police n cars across Europe.”


44 Industry Europe

Mont Blanc is a European market leader in the design and manufacture of load-carrying systems for passenger cars. Philip Yorke talked to Mikael Frolander, the company’s CEO about its latest innovative products and its move into new markets.


he Mont Blanc Group was founded in Sweden in 1947 and today consists of four wholly owned affiliate companies located in Sweden, the UK, France and Romania. The company specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality load carrying equipment for passenger cars, and is the clear technology leader in Europe. Mont Blanc’s product portfolio includes roof bars, bike carriers, roof boxes, ski racks, canoe racks and dog guards. At its three major production facilities in Sweden, France and Romania, the company employs more than 200 people and in 2012 recorded sales of over €36 million.

Innovation and functionality driving sales Innovation, safety and functionality have always been a priority at Mont Blanc and it has consistently stood by its belief that designing a product to fit a specific demand is more important than embarking on a highvolume manufacturing approach. Environmental considerations are also paramount at the company, which strives to minimise its impact on the environment with the help of

an active and carefully considered approach to its production processes and raw materials. This commitment covers all aspects of the company’s business activities. Reliability and safety are other key considerations for Mont Blanc, and therefore its products are designed to withstand the heavy duty use that they are put to, whether it is for

roof bars, roof boxes or cycle carriers. Every single product that leaves Mont Blanc’s premises is developed and constructed to suit its customer’s needs and to do the job for which it was designed perfectly. The company takes great pride in delivering high-quality products that meet the strict standards that Mont Blanc has always adhered to.

Expanding into new market areas The company’s vision is that anyone who has ever experienced a Mont Blanc product will never look for anything else. Furthermore, that by listening to its potential customers it can supply the optimal load-carrying products that are built to meet their specific needs. In addition the company is committed to ensuring that its products are “easy to get, easy to understand and easy to use”. Mr Frolander said, “We are constantly developing and upgrading our product portfolio and we need to do this not only to stay ahead of the game both practically and technologically, but also because new cars are coming onto the market every day and we therefore need to ensure that our products are optimised to meet the new car specifications. This is particularly true of our roof bars which today represent around 40 per cent of our turnover and in this sector we also sell direct to the car manufacturers, as well as to major retail outlets such as Halfords in the UK, where our products are sold under the Halfords brand label. All our R&D is conducted in-house and we have recently launched a new roof box that can be fitted and removed in less than five minutes. “In Romania we have built a state-of-theart facility in the Transylvania area which extends to more than 10,000m2. Here much of our manufacturing assembly is handfinished and tested to guarantee the highest possible standards, but much of our component’s production is fully automated. We are very strong in our traditional markets such as the UK, France and the Nordic region, but we are now extending our presence in the growing eastern European markets, such as Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. “We would like to be better represented in Germany, which is the largest market in Europe for us, but this is a more long-term objective. Another strong growth area for us is the internet, where our customers can order direct and receive their products within



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48 hours of placing their order or simply see our catalogue and visit their local retailer. This trend towards internet shopping is helping our sales across our product portfolio and we expect to see growth of around 15–20 per cent in this area this year. “Our biggest competitor is Thule of Sweden, but for the last two years we have been conducting consumer focus groups and looking at the market more from the consumer side of things. As a result we are now producing roof bars and bicycle carriers that can be assembled without any tools and even without the need for instructions. Therefore all our products are now

pre-assembled and ready to fit efficiently and safely. We like to keep it simple – and so do our customers.”

Brand new product range Mont Blanc recently launched a brand new range of high-quality load-carrier systems that are now available all over Europe, and these can be found online or at any local car accessories retailer. The company’s products all have a unique and functional design that will fit a car, bike and a boat, but above all, they also fit the needs of the consumer. Among the latest products from Mont Blanc is its Ready-Fit Alu Roof Bar. This

smart pair of fully assembled aluminium roof bars comes ready to fit straight from the box with no tools required, and they include four locks with matching keys. Another all-new product is the company’s RearTrail multi-bike carrier, which can transport up to three bikes at once secured to the car’s boot or tailgate. These use high-strength fabric straps for versatile fitment and a rubber frame that holds the bikes firmly in place. In addition, strategically located rubber pads fully protect the car’s paintwork. n For further details on these and other designer load-carrying products from Mont Blanc visit:

Industry Europe 47

48 Industry Europe


TO NEW MARKETS Netherlands-based Royal Boon Edam is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of revolving door systems and access technologies. With an emphasis on constant innovation, to remain ahead of its competitors, the company has also been further expanding its global presence.


oyal Boon Edam was founded in 1873 as a small carpentry shop in Amsterdam. Over the years it prospered, and in 1970 the family business moved its headquarters to larger premises in Edam. In 2004 it was granted the right to use the title ‘Royal’ Boon Edam, after more than 130 years of business and over 100 years of revolving door production. Today it employs over 900 people and has a network of subsidiaries and distributors in over 60 countries worldwide. It has also expanded its manufacturing capabilities considerably since its small beginnings: it now has plants in the Netherlands, the USA and China. Today the company’s core business is focused on door systems, security access and advanced door care. Within these areas it can offer clients a broad portfolio of products and services to meet all their needs. It is continuously developing and improving upon its technologies, with the stated belief that ‘innovation must be a continuous process’.

Range of Products Boon Edam’s door systems include manual revolving doors, automatic revolving doors and special-purpose doors for unusual or difficult applications, such as curved sliding doors or its Flowside line which combines revolving and sliding door technologies to allow two streams of people to pass through a junction point without merging. Its range of security access products includes security doors and portals, turnstiles, pedestrian security lanes and access gates. Finally, its advanced door care service offering encompasses service and maintenance, retrofits and upgrades – all carried out by its teams of professional engineers. In February last year, Boon Edam unveiled its latest product – the Energy Generating Revolving Door. The NRG+2 Tourniket combines revolving door technology with an energy generating concept which has enabled the company to create the ultimate ‘green’ entrance – a product that not only

saves energy but can also actually generate it. The first model in this line was introduced in 2008, but this latest upgrade features a new energy generating system with up to 50 per cent higher power output, progressive speed control, improved feedback indicators, flexibility in design and the ability to connect solar power. At Passenger Terminal Expo, the leading international airport terminal conference and exhibition, Boon Edam took the opportunity to introduce its latest innovations in self-boarding technologies. These included facial recognition, passport reading, NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, and 2D barcode reading. The company has also been involved in some fairly high-profile projects over the past couple of years. For example, in November 2011 it completed the installation of a 10m revolving door at Solna Shopping Centre in Stockholm. The door, which is based on Boon Edam’s Tournex High Capacity Revolving Door, is noteworthy for being the tallest

revolving door installed to date. The Tournex revolving door is capable of handling a huge number of visitors passing through each day. Moreover, the ‘always open, always closed’ principle of the door saves energy on heating or cooling. As can be seen from the above, environmental concerns play an important part in the company’s product development and overall activities. There are many examples of how they put their core values into practice and this can also be seen in the products that are emerging from the company, such as their zirconium-coated revolving doors. This hightech coating is so environmentally friendly that any waste products can be disposed of after simple pH testing.

Expanding global presence Future growth for Boon Edam is likely to be organic. Already well-established in Europe, the company is also continuing to strengthen its presence further afield. In August 2011 it announced the expansion of its subsidiary network to include a sales and service subsidiary based in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, to cover the entire South East Asian region. Lourens Beijer, Boon Edam’s chief commercial officer, commented at the time on the reasoning behind this development: “South East Asia is an important region for Boon Edam with a growing security market and strong economy, offering truly great potential. Boon Edam South East Asia is our 16th sales subsidiary company and represents

an important step forward in our plans for organic growth.” In addition to this region, the company is also seeking to broaden its customer base in South America. It took a step further in this direction in June last year when it announced the launch of a new website for Latin America – This new Spanish language website is aimed at the up-and-coming markets in Latin America. The latest stage in Boon Edam’s expansion strategy has seen it take steps to grow its presence in the Russian market. The company has been present in Russia since 2007 but in November last year it moved to a new larger premises to meet growing n demand from this market.

DELIVERING INNOVATIVE SUN PROTECTION SYSTEMS Harol NV is a market leader in the development and manufacture of sun protection systems and roller shutters. Philip Yorke talked to Marc van de Berg, the company’s sales director about its latest innovative products and move into new markets.

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arol NV was founded in Belgium in 1946 by Leon Draelants who began by producing wooden roller shutters in his small carpentry workshop in Miskom. Draelants built the company up to become a major supplier to the Belgian market, and in 1968 moved into the manufacture of plastic shutters and blinds by purchasing the company’s first PVC profile extrusion machine. Further success followed, and in 1976 Harol NV was established for the purpose of assembling and marketing an innovative new range of aluminium roller shutters. In 1980, Harol relocated to its new purpose-built, 10,000m2 factory and subsequently launched its own patented sun protection system in 1985. Since then the company has remained a family-run concern and has never looked back. Today, Harol remains a family-run, independent business, managed by Annick Draelants, that offers a diverse international product portfolio with over 300 employees and sales of more than €40 million.

Diversity and innovation driving sales Harol is based in Diest, Belgium and has consistently been one of the most pioneering manufacturers of sun protection systems in Europe. The company is the clear market leader in Belgium and enjoys a strong market position throughout the rest of Europe including the Nordic countries. Today, Harol has sales offices in France, Germany and the Netherlands and has a growing network of dealers and technical support teams. The company is committed to an ongoing programme of improvement and renewal to optimise the quality and durability of its products. All Harol products are provided with a comprehensive, five-year guarantee on all parts, labour and motor units. Harol also offers its customers, custom-built solutions to meet their changing tastes and needs. A diverse product portfolio also makes Harol stand out from the crowd as it offers an extensive range of sun protection systems that can be designed and manufactured to suit

any individual garden or patio, with screens, folding awnings, external venetian blinds, pivot-arm awnings and sun blinds for verandas. In addition, Harol also provides solutions for completely closing off a home with built-in roller shutters as well as surface-mounted roller shutters to offer optimal security. Mr Van den Berg said, “ Innovation, quality and optimal company service are the hallmarks of Harol and we continue to strive to offer the best products and services in the industry. As a privately owned family business we can offer a more dedicated personal service and are able to be more flexible and faster-acting when it comes to making management decisions. “For example, in 2001 we made the strategic decision to acquire a company in Belgium that fabricates high-quality sectional garage doors. This development has led to the creation of a third product group for us and one which offers Harol significant growth potential for the future. However, sun

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protection remains our biggest business sector and represents over 60 per cent of our sales, of which 20 per cent are dedicated to our business-to-business customers.”

Expanding global reach It was not until the 1990s that Harol focused on extending its presence in Europe and this now embraces France, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Czech Republic. Furthermore, this success is likely to be repeated as the company looks further afield to such markets as the USA, Canada, Australia and the Middle East. Mr Van de Berg added, “We are in discussions with a number of interesting new markets including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. All our products are made in Belgium to guarantee the strict quality that we require throughout the manufacturing process. In these new markets we are working closely with selected

54 Industry Europe

partners and installers who are trained to provide the same high standards that we rely upon here in Europe. These markets will also be able to benefit from our latest range of patio awnings which offer shelter from both sun and rain. Our comprehensive five-year guarantees will be effective in these new countries too, despite the fact that many of them experience extreme temperature fluctuations – not a problem for Harol products. “As far as the future is concerned we expect to continue to see strong organic growth which is our primary goal, but we still keep the door open for the right acquisition opportunity should it present itself.” In Europe Harol enjoys a reputation that is well known for high-quality products and services, as well as for design and technical innovation. As Europe’s technology leaders, Harol technology is regularly copied by others. However the company expects to be able to build upon this enviable European

reputation in all the countries where it is planning to increase its presence. For Harol, n the future certainly looks sunny. For further information about the company’s sun protection systems and other quality products visit:

Serge Ferrari S.A.S Serge Ferrari S.A.S. , based in La Tour du Pin, France produces highly efficient, sustainable and recyclable composite screens for solar shading. Our strategy turned towards innovation allows us to produce and develop materials that set standards for innovative solar protection. Our materials combine extreme strength with thermally efficient surface treatments and our materials are 100% recyclable through Texyloop. This innovative strategy allows us to be a partner supplier for Harol for more than 20 years.

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 58 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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copal is a Danish company that was founded in 1876 by Jens Villadsen, a master carpenter who had specialised in the repair of old tar roofs. The business grew rapidly and, in 1894, he patented a new tar roofing material called Dansk Tagpixtjaere. It was not until 1907 that the Icopal trademark was registered by Jens Villadsen’s son Christian Villadsen – the name came from the Aztec word for resin. In 1912 a new company was established to manufacture Icopal bitumen roofing felt and, in 1955, the parent company name, Villadsens Fabriker, was changed to Icopal AS. Since then, the company’s core product, roofing membranes, has been continu60 Industry Europe

ously developed and expanded to incorporate under-roofing, plastic gutters, roofing panels, roof tiles and geo-membranes. In 1989, Icopal completed its largest acquisition with the takeover of the leading French group Siplast SA, which had subsidiaries in the USA and Germany. The more recent acquisition of Anderson Waterproofing Ltd in 1990 was another landmark development and was followed by the purchase of the Belgian company Polytuil and the UK company Callenders and Vulcanite soon afterwards. Icopal extended its foothold in eastern Europe with the acquisition of the Polish company Izilacja SA in 2000. Later that

The Icopal group is a global supplier of high-end products for flat and pitched roofing, including installation services. Its core business is waterproofing with a particular focus on membranes but also related building materials.

same year, Icopal was itself taken over by a business consortium consisting of USbased Carlisle Companies Inc along with two Danish financial investment companies, Axel ll AS and Kirkbi AS and FIH, one of Denmark’s leading corporate banks. Since 2000, the company has continued to grow and acquire other ‘synergistic’ European companies. In 2007 it was sold to the investment management firm Investcorp.

Universal approval In the building membranes sector, Icopal technology leads the world in both innovation and functionality. For example, Icopal

Fonda is a hi-tech building membrane and is a foundation wall panel that has been developed in the form of a knobbed sheet made from polypropylene for protection against moisture. It can be used effectively for walls and wooden floors as well as for concrete sub-structures. Used on foundation walls, Fonda Universal panels provide maximum protection against moisture, especially when earth

mass is under pressure. It is here that the knobs provide extra strength against compression and ensure the efficient drainage of moisture in the wall. For turfed or green roofs, Fonda Universal provides the most efficient product on the market for protection against moisture, and it offers perfect fastening options for Fonda Gable boards and vent shafts. Fonda Special is another product designed for use as a vapour bar-

rier under wooden or concrete floors. The raised knobs on this product are solid and designed to withstand extremes of heat and cold. All Icopal Fonda building products are made from polypropylene (PP), which offers greater walking comfort and effective sound deadening while offering the environmental advantage of being 100 per cent recyclable. Icopal’s universal under-roof moisture and vapour barriers also work as a shield that

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protects roofing insulation materials, and the building structure itself, from the effects of the weather. Icopal’s specially developed roofing underlay has two functions, firstly as a secondary roofing system and secondly as a primary weather shield during the construction process. The Icopal roofing underlay portfolio is divided into two distinct product groups: the traditional ‘no vapour through membrane’ underlay which is constructed of reinforcing polyester yarn or polypropylene, and breather membranes which are either constructed from polypropylene or a special co-polymer plastic. These 100 per cent PPbased products are composed of a microporous film sandwich, which is made from a protective PP spun bonding material. All the materials used to produce Icopal building membranes are made from virgin polypropylene materials that have been subjected to strict Icopal quality control procedures.

The right pitch Pitched roofing materials is yet another sector in which Icopal enjoys market leader status. From gutters to roofing tiles, Icopal 62 Industry Europe

is able to provide total roofing solutions for its customers. Icopal’s Decra roof tile range offers complete roofing packages from a single source, including breather membranes and a choice of underlays, eaves protection systems and ventilation systems. Icopal’s Decra range offers six tile profiles which can be coated or galvanised steel panels with the appearance of traditional tiles. These panelled tiles offer an attractive

and economic roofing solution for all types of roof down to a 10° pitch. In gutters, Icopal offers the Rainmate range which provides a safe, effective and attractive roofing system. Rainmate tiles have a long lifespan and require virtually no maintenance. They are quick and easy to assemble and install, and are designed to withstand even the harshest Scandinavian winters. These tiles can be enhanced by the application of Icopal Aluz-

ink®, which is a special external coating that provides an antique or weathered appearance. The unique combination of aluminium and zinc creates an attractive sheen and even greater product durability. All Icopal components and accessories are available with Aluzink coating to ensure that the roof has a distinctive and n uniformly attractive appearance.

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BUILDING STRENGTH Leading global supplier of building materials Weber is launching a new product this spring, bringing its famous Leca brand to an even wider audience. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the sales director for Weber Norway Carl, Petter Simonsen, to find out more.


he globally active Weber Group has been developing and supplying building materials for over 100 years – since it was founded in Paris in 1900. In the early days, Weber produced a gypsum and lime-based façade render, and it is still this family of products that is offered today, with Weber’s portfolio including a complete range of easy-to-apply products for the building and construction industries worldwide. Products such as flooring systems, tile fixing and construction mortars join Weber’s well-known façade materials, with all products developed and manufactured using advanced formulation technology in order to meet the highest technical requirements. Today, Weber has a large network of over 200 production units in 42 countries worldwide, giving it an unrivalled global footprint. Carl Petter Simonsen is the sales director for Weber Norway and he spoke to Industry Europe about how his division fits into the Group. He said, “As part of a large,

globally acting Group, we have incredible access to resources and innovation. It means we are always able to stay openminded with regards to developing new ideas and staying customer focused. But what I think is also a true advantage that, in my experience, is unique to Weber is that there is a real will to develop ourselves and our products, and being part of a financially successful multinational group means we have the possibility to make this happen on a regular basis.” The most well-known of the brands of the Weber Group is Leca, a lightweight expanded clay aggregate used for a wide ranging of building applications and typically made into solid blocks for construction purposes. While it is not so well known outside Norway, where it is primarily used in its raw material state, inside Norway it is a different matter, where the blocks are very popular. Mr Simonsen explained, “The Leca brand is so famous in Norway; it is synonymous with solid, reliable

quality. I even heard it used to describe a defender in a football game on television! In fact, Leca is more widely known than Weber as a brand in Norway. The Norwegian building and construction industry has loved Leca blocks for decades and, as a long-established company, the Leca brand truly underpins our reputation for reliable products.”

New Leca With such an impressive reputation, it is unsurprising that the launch of the first new Leca product for over 20 years is creating quite a stir in Norway. The company is keen to ensure that it draws on the strength of Leca’s reputation with the launch of its ‘new generation Leca’ blocks. Mr Simonsen continued, “The new Leca is so much faster to use it delivers really effective construction applications.” The myriad benefits of the new Leca include its better breathability as a building material. Described as ‘comfortable and

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healthy’, Weber expects that homes and buildings constructed from its Leca blocks will better avoid damp and mould, making it ideal as a material for building social housing and domestic housing in colder environments. The new Leca launch is creating such a stir in Norway that Weber Norway is having its own press day, with many industry and general magazines and publications keen to cover the event. Mr Simonsen continued, “It’s hard to explain if you’re not from Norway, but this really is a big deal! As the first new Leca product in more than 20 years people are excited to see what we have created. And I’m pleased to say the new Leca is really impressive so the €1.5 million we’ve spent just on the marketing launch is going to be well worth it.”

Expansion The new Leca has been developed by the Weber Group in what it calls its ‘federal organisation’; a carefully selected group of highly experienced experts across the Group’s divisions and based at the Paris head office. Representatives of each of Weber’s offices worldwide come together to ensure that their sophisticated expertise is used to its best commercial advantage. Mr Simonsen added, “We really have got the best of both worlds. A long-established organisation with a product that’s famous for its strength and performance working alongside a passion for innovation – and the resources to make both of these the best they can be. I have to say there’s a

real dedication to and a belief in Weber that runs through the whole company, and I think the reason for that is we all know we offer a really great product with the support system to back it up.” As part of the Weber Group’s ongoing global expansion and development plan, Mr Simonsen explained how the Leca brand is expected to be pushed in new markets in the coming years. Already available in parts of Europe, the new Leca will be available in global markets including eastern Europe and the USA soon. The ‘federal organisation’ is working to develop ever-more customerdriven solutions, with the ‘happy, healthy’ new Leca set to change how buildings are n built worldwide.

Our factory is equipped with a new advanced automated chimney production line. We constantly invest in new production technology in order to modernise our processes, improve our product range and increase the efficiency of our customer service. The use of modern, advanced technologies and the experience of our highly qualified staff enable us to manufacture only the highest quality products, conforming to international quality standards including the EN 1856-1, EN 1856-2 and EN 14989-2.

Izabelinė, LT-14200, Vilniaus r., Lithuania T: +370 5 274 0200 • F: +370 5 276 1869 • E:


JSC ‘Vilpros pramonė’ is a member of VILPRA group and today runs the biggest chimney factory in the Baltic states. Our products include rigid round flue liner systems, double wall chimney systems, concentric air/flue systems, flexible liner systems and rigid oval flue liner systems.

ENHANCING THE GENIUS OF NATURE Leading lactic acid biotechnology company, Galactic, is bringing its ‘green chemicals for various applications’ to a more diversified market. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the sales manager for EMEA non-food markets, Alexander Wagner to find out more.


istorically a lactic acid and lactates producer, Galactic is globally active and ecologically responsible. A chemical company with a clear focus on renewable raw materials, Galactic offers a full service in ‘green chemicals’ for its customers worldwide. Since 1994 Galactic has become one of the world’s leaders in biotechnology, serving the food, animal feed, personal and healthcare and industrial markets. Based on its valuable experience in the fermenta-

tion of lactic acid and other derivatives, Galactic continuously develops sustainable, innovative and health-conscious solutions in the field of food safety, nutrition and green chemistry. With headquarters and an innovation campus in Belgium, production facilities in the United States (Milwaukee), China (Bengbu) and Europe (Escanaffles), and sales offices in Belgium (Brussels), Japan (Tokyo) and Brazil (Curitiba), Galactic employs more than 350 people worldwide and is active in almost 65 countries.

Continual development The sales manager for EMEA non-food markets, Alexander Wagner, told Industry Europe how the company’s solid ownership structure helps to maintain its focus. He said, “Our mission as experts in Lactochemistry® is to continually develop new molecules and applications for natural solutions to ensure that we remain at the forefront of the lactic acid expertise that we have gained, and with the support and dedication of our skilled team and our owners, we will

continue to achieve this. Galactic provides a constantly growing portfolio of top quality, environmentally friendly products that are mutually beneficial to all our stakeholders, from customers to partners and employees to shareholders.” Galactic’s core product is lactic acid. Lactochemistry® is at the heart of its ongoing success; its ability to create many new products and continually develop new derivatives ensures that it maintains its market leading position. The company focuses on offering solutions to respond to mega-trends such as an increasing population (how to make agrochemistry greener), urbanisation (the closer we live together the more important environ-

mental issues become), an aging society (how to help with our Lactochemistry® expertise companies improve their solutions in personal and health care or producing nappies) or an increasing consumer awareness (what do we consume and what is the impact of this consumption on nature and health). With its range of clean, green and safe bio-solvents which are proven to perform above expectations, Galactic has the answer to replacing traditional toxic and petrol-based solvents used in coatings, cleaning and agrochemistry. Its product range also includes additives for SAP (super absorbant polymers, used in nappies), cosmetic ingredients, healthcare ingredients and sophisticated solutions for

applications such as food safety, clean labelling, health improvements and cost saving. Mr Wagner continued, “All our lactic acid products are manufactured at our state-ofthe-art facilities worldwide. We have around 100,000 metric tons split between three production sites, all of which are operated under the strictest corporate standards appropriate to the chemical industry and the industries for which we produce our natural solutions.”

Inspired by nature While Galactic does not have any current plans to extend its production facilities, it does aim to expand its product portfolio as it reaches into new markets. Already mostly

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serving the food, feed, care (home, personal and healthcare), coatings, metal treatments, chemical industries and bioremediation, Galactic has identified new opportunities. Mr Wagner added, “We are already globally present and we have a well-established client base and product portfolio. But as an ambitious company that has a clear focus on research and development, our identification of new diversified markets that will appreciate and benefit from lactic acid and its derivates is very exciting. At that point let me mention the important investment into the Galactic Innovation Campus in Brussels recently inaugurated, allowing us to strengthen the interaction between the market and R&D.” He continued, “When you deal with nature, it’s hard not to be inspired by it. At Galactic, we are already imagining the world of tomorrow. A world in which choices are based on what’s best for nature and mankind. As a chemical company that is passionate about the environment – its beauty and its sustainability – Galactic sees countless possibilities to replace expensive petrol-based solutions with sophisticated lactic-acid-based alternatives. At the very least they are equal in performance and they are certainly superior in respect to the environment. Our products are completely natural and we are proud to be part of a future that is more responsible and perfectly practical.” A big push for lactic acid is to be expected following the introduction of poly lactic acids

(PLA). PLA is a plastic based on lactic acid and thus on renewable raw materials. Futerro, a joint venture between Galactic and Total Petrochemicals, operating on a pilot scale of 1500 tonne/year is developing its high quality PLA to move further into plastic parts such as those used in automotive or electronic devices. They far exceed the current quality of PLA on the market, which is mostly only sufficient for plastic bags or plastic cups for cold drinks. Lactic acid, also known as 2-hydroxypropionic acid, is present in almost all forms of organised life and has probably been present since life began. Even though lactic acid is so abundant, it is notoriously difficult to identify. As the name suggests, lactic acid is in milk, specifically curdled milk, and it was first discovered by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1780 when he crystallised calcium. Various scientific discoveries and developments followed, but it was not until 1881 that lactic acid was used beyond pharmaceutical applications. While there have been numerous companies producing lactic acid over the years, the majority have had to cease production due to the low qual-

ity of their output; Galactic prides itself on its exceptionally high-quality production and so it continues to be one of the market leaders.

All around the world Galactic’s strongest presence is in Europe, particularly Benelux, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK and Poland, with North America, Latin America and Asia (China, Japan and South East Asia) all important territories. Mr Wagner said, “We are not moving into new geographical markets as we are already globally present and active. We are able to serve customers practically anywhere in the world and our excellent production facilities ensure that we develop and supply the best quality lactic acid products, optimised for our customers’ needs. With such a strong footing across the world’s lactic acid sector and a well-established name for quality, Galactic is positioned for continued success. The company is keen to further its development of green applications for lactic acid and to foster even closer links with its end users. Mr Wagner concluded, “Galactic will keep offering even

more customised and sophisticated solutions based on renewable resources as we diversify into new markets while maintaining our presence in existing markets.” n

INVESTING TO MEET GROWING DEMAND Nitrogénművek Zrt is a well-established and respected producer of nitrogen fertiliser. The company was foundated in 1931, and is still at the forefront of the industry 82 years later. With the world population rapidly increasing and the demand for fertiliser growing, Nitrogénművek Zrt is keen to meet the challenge. Edina Beale reports.


étfürdő in Hungary is home to the headquarters of Nitrogénművek Zrt. Established in 1931, the company has faced a great many challenges over the years – war, changing political environments, new technologies, ever more demanding controls and regulations for production and of course the current financial crisis in Europe. Despite these obstacles the company has maintained its domestic dominance with a 70 per cent share of the Hungarian fertiliser market, and has continued to develop trade with surround-

72 Industry Europe

ing countries including Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Romania. The success of Nitrogénművek Zrt has ensured that it is one of the largest employers in Pétfürdő; the company and its subsidiaries provide employment for approximately 700 people. In 2011–2012 these people played an important part in enabling the company to work at 95 per cent capacity, producing 1 million tonnes output. This production led to a significant milestone of HUF 100 billion turnover.

Growing capacities Nitrogénművek Zrt understand the importance and value of investment, even in these financially challenging times. In the past two years the company has made considerable capital investments. The need for quality products produced using energy-efficient processes and reducing the environmental impact have been the main drivers for these investments. In 2011, it was identified that the storage system for bulk fertiliser was in need of modernisation. An injection of €5 million to

Industry Europe 73 Good reputation and well known trade mark

Instytut Nawozów Sztucznych (INS) seated in Puławy is a state research centre with a long tradition. Its beginnings as a Research Laboratory at United Factories of Nitrogen Compounds date back to 1935. It has been operating under the present name since 1958 and in 1968 its registered office was moved to Puławy. INS is one of the best Polish research centres. It is a company with good reputation and a well known trade mark both in Poland and abroad. The principal aim of INS activity is work for chemical industry, mainly for its fertilizer and inorganic branches what leads to innovations and improvement of competitiveness of companies operating in chemistry and chemical technology areas.

Close to industry

INS carries out research and development work in close partnership with industry, employing high qualified staff and maintaining best standards applying to research methods and procedures. It cooperates with all nitrogen works in Poland and numerous companies abroad. It has a unique advantage of carrying research works in pilot plants and directly in industrial plants.

More than 50 years of experience

Many years of research and experimental work in close cooperation with industry resulted in broad experience, mainly in the field of chemical technology and applied catalysis. INS offer covers: • modernization processes for ammonia and nitric acid plants including syngas processing (HP purification of process condensates, synthesis gas drying, revamping of carbon dioxide removal system (Benfield/Carsol), carbon dioxide purity improvement in Benfield/ Carsol unit, natural gas saturation), energy saving ammonia process, revamping of ammonia synthesis converters, modern technology for nitric acid plants; • catalysts and sorbents for syngas production (natural gas purification, HDS, removal of sulphur and chlorine compounds),

hydrogen and syngases production (steam reforming, sweet and sour WGS, methanation), synthesis (ammonia, methanol, DME), hydrogenation (benzene to cyclohexane, edible oils and fats), environment protection (nitrous oxide decomposition, de-NOx, SCR, Claus process, processing of coal and biomass gasification products).

Over 20 years of INS and Nitrogénművek Zrt. successful cooperation

INS was involved in the following revamping projects implemented by Nitrogénművek Zrt. in its Kellogg’s ammonia plant: • carbon dioxide purity improvement, • Carsol unit upgrading, • natural gas saturation system, • HP purification of process condensate.

At present, INS is involved in the project of ammonia plant upgrading which would lead to increase of the ammonia plant capacity up to 1650 MTPD. INS is a traditional supplier of catalysts being applied in Kellogg’s ammonia plant.

New leadership: plant extracts

Since 2000 INS has been conducting extraction of plant materials with carbon dioxide in supercritical conditions and has become a Polish and European leader in the field of this process. Extraction technology belongs to the “green chemistry” and enables production of pure plant extracts, sterile and free from impurities.

INS portfolio covers:

• research: supercritical extraction of natural raw materials (plants), fractionation of supercritically extracted products, primary processing of materials used for extraction (drying and granulation of plant materials in inert gases), new technologies with the use of supercritical fluids (SCF). • plant extracts (hop extract, sweet red paprika extract, strawberry seed oil, raspberry seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil) for brewery, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

Aleja Tysiąclecia Państwa Polskiego 13A 24-110 Puławy, Poland Phone: +48 81 473 14 00, Fax: +48 81 473 14 10

improve the storage system has had a substantial impact on this area of business. Storage capacity has been increased by 85000 tonnes and the daily distribution capability is now 10,000 tonnes. These changes have additional positive attributes – the improved systems allow for improved quality of the products and significant reduction in harm to the environment. Another goal is to increase production capacities for producing ammonia, nitric acid and Pétisó (CAN) by 15–25 per cent within the next five years. All this investment is taking place at a time when other companies are struggling to manage; perhaps this is the reason for Nitrogénművek Zrt’s continuing success. Another reason could be the effect that the investment is having on product safety and quality, two key areas for the company and the customer.

Since the investments, both the quality and the safety of products has improved. Fuel and energy costs are a major consideration for any business and Nitrogénművek Zrt is no exception. In 2012 work commenced to reduce the energy consumption in their base factories. This undertaking again required substantial investment. To date €10 million has been used to improve the energy efficiency of the ammonia plant alone.

Establishing firm roots The production achievements are commendable, but production is only one side of the story, in any business you need to retain your existing customers and seek out new customers. The company is focusing on strengthening its position in its existing markets. With a 10 per cent increase in the share in the domestic market being achieved in the

past two years alone, it is now seeking to strengthen its position in the countries where it already has a substantial foothold. Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Romania all have large agricultural industries, and in many areas these businesses are constantly looking to develop and improve the way they farm. Due to the findings of recent research, the company is striving to ensure that it has the quality, capacity and products to meet the expected demand. “In the central European region – in our dominant markets – Fertiliz-

Main contracting

ers Europe indicated that the use of our core products, nitrogen fertilisers will be expanding in the future,” says Mr István Blazsek, CEO of Nitrogénművek Zrt. “In order to prepare for this, we have been making investments to increase our capacity and to reduce our energy consumptions in our base factories since the middle of 2012. In the short term we aim to increase our capacity by 15 per cent whilst reducing our energy consumption by 10 per cent. In the longer term the objective is to increase our present capacity by 25 per cent.


Turbine & Compressor maintenance services Trans Lex Work Kft. - Hungary, 1075 Budapest, Asbóth u. 19.

Trans Lex Work Kft. Established in 1992 Trans Lex Work Kft. (TLW) has been a key supplier for NZrt. and has provided various activities ranging from maintenance work to taking significant role in large developments since 1995. Headquartered in Budapest, the Hungarian limited company was chosen to be the main contractor for carrying out the reconstruction of the cooling towers for the fertilizer manufacturing company; part of the redevelopment of one of their warehouses; the construction of three 2000m3 acid container tanks and the demolishment of 2C and 3C obsolete acid plants. TLW has always been given a main role in the maintenance of turning machines with key importance as well as in the maintenance and assembly of the ammonia and the previous acid plant turbine-compressor machinery. In their most recent and significant project, Trans Lex Work Kft took part in the intensification of the primer wrecking furnace, where the full replacement of the fireproof walls and pipe system was completed within 29 days.

This investment will strengthen our competitiveness over the next 3–5 years.” Nitrogénművek Zrt is determined to improve on its success, to overcome the hurdles and barriers that face any business venture and to invest time and money researching markets and improving its facilities to meet the expected demand. With all the other initiatives to improve product quality and safety and to operate efficiently, the company is in a good position to build on its existing success and improve its business in n the surrounding markets.

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

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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. 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 80 Industry Europe

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.

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THE MINING AND GAS INDUSTRIES Elektrometal SA, a company based in Cieszyn, Poland, is a leading manufacturer of products for the mining and gas industries. In 2013 it celebrates its 65th anniversary.

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lektrometal has many years of experience in designing and manufacturing of special devices designed for work under difficult and dangerous circumstances and in unfavourable environments. The company’s business includes the production of explosion-proof, special and standard

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lighting equipment for mining, intrinsically safe wired communication systems for the underground mining, mining safety equipment, radio systems, cable connection sets, power distribution substations, equipment for locomotive battery charging, technical designing and making of electrical instal-

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lations, compiling and assembling mining devices and productive services such as zinc coating, painting and sheet machining. The other branch of Elektrometal’s operations is the production of natural gas pressure reducing valves (gas regulators) for medium pressures, and meter-reducing points for

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house connections. The company is the biggest producer and distributor of such gas regulators in Poland. Its share in Poland’s intrinsically safe signalling devices market amounts to about 65 per cent, and its share in the specialist lighting equipment and gas pressure reducing valves reaches 60 per cent.

65 years of tradition Elektrometal SA has been operating in Cieszyn since 1948, initially under the Francopol name. The name of Elektrometal appeared two years later. Renaming was associated with the extension of the production range to household hardware and the telephone switchboards, which became the basis for the telecommunication equipment produced later. By the mid-70s, the production was separated into 20 separate units located in different parts of the town. In 1977 a new production

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unit was opened. The facility consisted of an 11-storey building, a production hall, warehouses, social rooms and special buildings with a total area of 24m2. In 1990, Elektrometal obtained the status of an independent stateowned company, which on 12 January 1996 was transformed into a commercial company called Elektrometal SA. The company employs more then 300 employees. The Elektrometal crew is stable: as many as 66 per cent of the employees have worked there more than 10 years.

From Cieszyn to the whole world The company’s annual sales are estimated as PLN 160 million (approx. €40 million). “Our products and services primarily go both to domestic and foreign coal mines. To establish a good position on the market the company has introduced an integrated man-

PTWP, Andrzej Wawok ©

agement system according to the following standards: ISO 9001 (quality), ISO14001 (environment) and PN-N 18001 (work safety). Elektrometal, as a manufacturer of equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, has also incorporated into its management system the requirements for hazardous area quality systems, which meet the ATEX and IECEx standards. The company quality system fulfils the requirements of Machine and MID Directives, that makes possible production also in this industry sectors. Exports make about 20 per cent of sales and this share is still rapidly growing. “In 2000, we focused solely on the domestic market, whereas today we are also present in Russia, the Czech Republic, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, Mexico and recently even in Bolivia,” says Mr Wojtyla, the company’s president of the board.

Main products of shipyard industry comprise the following: • ship windows • ship doors • portholes • rotary heads • window boxes • ventilation shutters • sanitary cabins Both Polish as well as foreign shipyards are among our consignees. Vessels with the products of Bohamet sail under the flag of several countries. Ship windows and portholes are approved by D.N.V., L.R., G.L. classification association. We produce windows and portholes of various shapes and dimensions. Depending on the requirements of a shipyard, these products may be manufactured of various material: • steel • brass • aluminum alloys • stainless steel • anti-magnetic steel Type of glass employed: • float • coloured • A or B grade • electric heated glass Windows and portholes may be equipped with mosquito screens and sunshades. We manufacture typical windows and non-typical windows such as for wheelhouses.


Carbonex Sp. z o.o.


Company CARBONEX Sp. z o.o. was founded in 1989. The main area of our business is the design and manufacture of communication and control devices. Our main products are: • Device of wireless shaft communication ECHO • System of remote control RADIAX • Acoustic warning device HEROLD Our products enjoy a good reputation among users and are widely known. Users of our products are also satisfied with our service maintenance. Our main client are mines in the country and abroad. Our devices work in Russia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Colombia, Iran. Our company employs a staff of highly qualified and highly experienced in the design and operation of mining equipment.

Metalplast Kalisz We have many years of experience in producing a variety of plastic parts, made by injection molding. The range of our customers includes companies associated with the mining and gas industry, engineering, construction, car care products, and others, operating on the Polish market and abroad. Consequently, we aim to be constantly considered a recommendable business partner. The company’s location in central Poland, quick delivery time and our care for each customer are our advantages.

We specialize in the production of components from PP, PE, PS, PMMA, PC, PA, EVA. We are looking forward to your cooperation

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Speed and flexibility In the 1990s the company was engaged only in production. It made many devices that were installed by other enterprises. This in turn meant that it was poorly recognised on the market. However, all that has changed. The manufacturing part of the company’s activity has been enhanced by a complex range of services. Now, Elektrometal not only sells its products but also offers their installation and integration into the customer’s system as well as providing post-sale service. Recently, more and more often it carries out turnkey projects. Elektrometal SA has extended its offer for the following products and services: shaft communication systems, visualisation and control system, distributors for LPG, solid fuel boilers, plastic processing, and computer activity. Since 2000, it has executed many complex investment projects, such as the construction of electrical distribution systems, pump sta-

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tions, fan stations, coal processing plants. In 2012, the share of services in the company’s sales was about 60 per cent, clearly showing the direction, in which Elektrometal is developing both on the domestic and foreign markets. Such a wide scope of services makes it essential that the company benefits from the modern research and development department. The office employs about 40 engineers and technicians, who work on the development of the products and services. “For our company, it is clear that the success on the market will be determined in the 21 century by two basic parameters: speed and flexibility. With these two advantages, along with growth, stability and the highest quality of products and services, we can ensure the continuous development of the n company,” says Mr Wojtyla.

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Zakład Produkcyjny “BOHAMET” Sp. J. We design and manufacture: “d” fire resistant barriers for all “Ex” explosion protected products designed to operate in extreme danger explosive zones in mines. We offer: • “d” fire resistant boxes - distribution boxes, - junction boxes, - coupling boxes for connecting all types of mining cables in wired networks with a voltage of 6 kV • control buttons We specialize in: the production of large-scale covers - “d” fire resistant casings according to clients projects. Electrical equipment in the cabinets of our production works in the domestic mines as well as in foreign mines.

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KITCHEN APPLIANCES MORA MORAVIA has been active in the Czech white goods market for almost two hundred years. Today it is part of the Gorenje holding group and this year it is due to make a major increase in capacity.


ORA MORAVIA, s.r.o., headquartered in Mariánské Údolí, was founded in 1825. The MORA brand name itself is one of the oldest original white goods brands not only in the Czech Republic, but worldwide. From its very beginnings the company specialised in manufacturing

household goods. The first household gas cooker dates back to 1919, to be followed in later years by appliances not only for cooking for also for heating, in particular gas boilers and continuous-flow heaters. Beginning in 1989 the company underwent extensive restructuring of its various manufac-

turing programmes and later the principal part of the factory, producing white goods, became part of the Gorenje company. The company went through extensive changes arising not only from the need to integrate it into the new parent company’s manufacturing operations, but also as a result of strengthening and

extending the technical and technological manufacturing base. In 2011, a new fifth-generation integrated cooker was launched and has since become the best-selling cooker from the company. Last year it also succeeded in launching full production of fume extractors, which was important for the expansion of the Mariánské Údolí factory manufacturing portfolio. MORA MORAVIA today employs some 600 staff, with the exact number being influenced by production levels and appliance deliveries, as well as by customer requirements. Full capacity is generally achieved in the final five months of each year, when there is globally the greatest demand for cooking appliances.

Something for everyone The product range manufactured in Mariánské Údolí is made up of built-in ceramic glass hobs, heaters, fume extractors and especially free-standing cookers in 50, 55, 60 and 70cm widths. The company manufactures more than 400 types of appliances in various variants – nowadays, stainless steel versions are increasingly popular. “Within the holding company, our firm continues to work on the development of our various appliances, not just in Mariánské

Údolí, but also through joint projects with our parent company, a design studio in Velenje and a division developing electronic control systems,” says company manager and executive director Vítězslav Růžička. The most recent joint project is the IQcook project, an intelligent sensor located on cooking utensil lids to maintain optimum cooking conditions (a function built into the hob), including fume extraction by the builtin fume extractor. “Today’s customers are more and more demanding, so our work on appliances is based mainly on their increasing demands for ease of use, cleanability, low electricity and gas usage. This trend leads inexorably to more efficient appliances using modern component technologies and, as a consequence, savings for our customer’s pockets”, the director explains. All of these steps are reflected in the high quality of the appliances, which today is the fundamental characteristic of products supplied under the holding company’s various brands.

Increasing capacity All heating product production is based at Mariánské Údolí, situated in a picturesque valley with several villages, with the river Bystřice running close by. The company is

spread across both banks of the river and nearly 12 hectares of additional land will be sufficient for the company’s further development, now under consideration. Last year the holding company implemented an extensive project to relocate the production of free-standing cookers from its factory in Lahti (Finland) to Mariánské Údolí. The production technology was transferred in its entirety over three weeks, and cooker assembly began on the line in the Czech Republic within five weeks of production terminating in Finland. “From the technical and logistical points of view it was a very demanding operation, but in spite of this we demonstrated that our people can cope, even with a change as difficult as this one,” says Vítězslav Růžička. The completion of this project increased the resulting capacity of the company by 15 per cent.

Investment in development Exports are the core of the company’s business, arising from its role as a production unit within the Gorenje holding group. More than 80 per cent of output ends up in the markets of the group’s sales networks throughout Europe, Asia and in other countries. “Our products are sold under the MORA, GORENJE, KÖRTING, SIDEX,

ASKO, UPO brand names and also the brand names of our trading partners,” the director explains, adding that in recent years the holding company has grown particularly in eastern markets. “For us, of course, other markets where we sell the MORA brand are key, such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and in particular our domestic market,” he says. After expanding production capacity in recent years the company will now apply investment to improving manufacturing efficiency, installing more energy-efficient equipment, environment and other technologies. Part of each year’s investment goes into development projects and innovation. “This part of our investment is invariable and cannot be interrupted without the risk of losing competitiveness. Further projects are in

preparation and contracts are being signed even now with tooling companies to make new tools and with suppliers of new production units,” says the director.

New trends, new directions And what does the domestic appliance market look like right now? What are the customer’s preferences? Vítězslav Růžička explains that the trend is progressively towards greater demand for built-in appliances, which is a reflection of changing living styles and greater variability in the way kitchens are set up. “In terms of appliance technical design we can say that in general there is increasing interest in cooking by induction. These trends indicate the direction of development which the company tries to reflect in its new

products, innovations and models in order to better meet our customers’ expectations.“ He adds that further growth of the factory in Mariánské Údolí is based on the Gorenje holding company’s long-term development plan for production sites. The company will specialise mainly in the growth of its four production areas – built-in hobs, heaters, fume extractors and especially in further development of free-standing cookers. The continuous growth in production capacity and expansion of the range only confirms the company’s position within the Gorenje holding company and the continued tradition of high-quality appliance manufacture in Mariánské Údolí. “After all, in just six years we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first gas cooker,” the director concludes. n

PIONEERING PROGRESSIVE LED LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY Philips is a global leader in lighting technology and complete lighting solutions. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at the world’s foremost lighting company and how its latest cutting-edge LED technology is benefiting consumers and retailers worldwide whilst helping to protect the environment.


hilips has led the world in lighting technology since it was founded in 1891 by Anton and Gerard Philips in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The company began by manufacturing carbon-filament lamps and by the turn of the century had become one of the largest producers in Europe. Stimulated by the growing industrial

revolution in Europe, Philips set up its first research laboratory which was responsible for ground-breaking innovations such as the X-ray and radio technology. Over the years, Philips has continued to be responsible for many innovative technological breakthroughs that have enriched people’s everyday lives worldwide.

Today Philips is an innovative global leader in its many business disciplines and employs more than 120,000 people in over 60 countries. In 2012 the company recorded sales of around €26 billion and remains a market leader in healthcare, as well as in lifestyle and leisure electronics products. The company is also a global leader in energy-efficient lightIndustry Europe 89

ing solutions in areas such as road lighting, office and industrial applications as well as in hospitality and home environments. Currently Philips employs more than 53,000 people in its lighting sector and remains committed to creating a sustainable future with exciting, new lighting technologies. The company’s lead in LED technology is already offering significant improvements in energy efficiency.

Leading the world in LED Technology Philips Lighting is the leading provider of lighting solutions and applications for both the professional and consumer markets. The company addresses lighting needs across the full spectrum of living environments from homes, shops, offices, schools factories and hospitals to residential areas, sports arenas and street lighting. In addition Philips Lighting

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delivers light-inspired visual enhancements through architectural and city beautification projects. The company’s lighting is also used for specific applications, including horticulture, refrigeration lighting and signage, as well as heating, water purification and healthcare applications. To underscore Philips Lighting’s global lead in providing innovative, sustainable lighting solutions, the company recently announced its creation of the world’s most energy-efficient, warm-white LED lamp in April this year. Philips Lighting researchers have developed a tube lighting (TL) replacement prototype that generates a record 200 lumens per watt compared to 100 lm/W for fluorescent lighting and just 15 lm/W for traditional light bulbs. With lighting accounting for more almost 20 per cent of the world’s total energy consumption,

this remarkable innovative advance promises to drive massive energy and cost savings around the globe. These optimised LED lamps are intended to replace fluorescent tube lighting used in offices and industry. They create the benchmark for the next generation of energy-efficient LED lighting technology for general lighting applications. For example, in the USA alone fluorescent lighting consumes around 200 terawattshours of electricity annually. If all of these lights were replaced with Philips Lighting’s 200 lm/W TLED’s, the USA would use around 100 terawatts-hours less energy, which is equivalent to the output of 50 medium-sized power plants. This would represent a saving of more than US$12 billion and prevent about 60 million metric tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.





MOTORCYCLE MOTORCYCLE ELECTRICAL ENGINE S.I.P. srl | Via Don L. Sturzo, 14, 20832 Desio (MB) | Phone: +39 0362 306144 - 626351 | Fax: +39 0362 638009

Increasing focus on sustainability In order to meet the growing global demand for sustainability, the Technology Foundation STW and Philips have taken the initiative to form a new ‘sustainability’ partnership. With eight key research project proposals already approved, the programme was officially launched on 16 April 2013. The aim of these new projects is to develop innovative, efficient lighting that will also be available for entirely new applications. This important five year programme has had three million euros allocated to it and each party will contribute 50 per cent each to the research fund. The results are expected to be published early in 2014. Global lighting continues to increase significantly worldwide, partly due to the shift to a 24-hour economy and by the year 2050 global lighting consumption is expected to be almost three times higher than it is today. Therefore much more energy efficient lighting needs to be developed. This adds weight to the vital research being carried out by the ‘Advanced Sustainable Lighting Solutions’ partnership, which is working towards high-efficiency, attractive and affordable lighting that is also developed in an environmentally responsible way. Such optimised

lighting systems can contribute considerably to the solutions for social change in a variety of key areas such as food production, health and well-being.

Shaping the future With its new LED lighting technologies, Philips Lighting is addressing the global demand for more energy-efficient lighting solutions. The company is committed to a programme of research that will to shape the future of advanced lighting technology with ground-breaking applications. For example, in the automotive lighting sector, the Philips Xenon HID product improves the driver’s vision significantly compared to conventional halogen lighting products, thereby increasing safety on the road. The Philips HID light provides twice as much light as a traditional halogen bulb at half the energy consumption with the additional benefit of a much increased lifecycle. The company took another step forward recently by further leveraging its recently acquired consumer – luminaire Ecomoods range in Europe and Asia. n For further details of Philips Lighting’s advanced LED lighting solutions visit: Industry Europe 91

MAKING CONTACT Preci-Dip is a world leader in the development and manufacture of highly reliable contacts and spring-loaded pogo pins that are used in a variety of demanding interconnect functions in the automotive, telecommunications, medical, industrial, aircraft, missiles and helicopter applications, to name but a few! Marco Siebel spoke to managing director Raymond Kerrison.


reci-Dip has its headquarters in Delemont, Switzerland and employs 240 people. “We invested significantly in 2012 in reinforcing our project management teams and in our development capabilities,” says Raymond Kerrison. “We have hired people in quality, product development, our laboratory and advanced engineering in order to respond to the many diverse applications that we are seeing today. People are not just looking for the standard product lines; rather customers are coming to us and saying ‘We need a solution that can respond to these specific requirements.’ So we see growth in custombuilt specific applications, often in demanding environments, which is a significant differentiator for our company.”

Preci-Dip spring-loaded (pogo) contacts Preci-Dip spring-loaded contacts are made of a contact body or barrel, a piston and a helical compression spring. The electrical contact is established by pressure against a fixed, flat area called the pad connector. Preci-Dip has developed additional designs featuring specific

advantages such as contacts with a slant or polygonal piston; this design leads to a radial force on the piston resulting in a lower electrical resistance. Another model has a patented coaxial or in-line design with an integrated multi-finger sliding clip contact, establishing electrical continuity between the body and the piston. The multipoint connection guarantees low, stable electrical resistance values without micro-discontinuities, even when the piston is moving or subject to vibration, thus assuring maximum reliability. Since 1995 Preci-Dip has been producing a wide range of contacts of many sizes and with a variety of technical specifications. In certain areas where high insertion cycles and/or a large stroke is required in a reduced space, the spring loaded contact solution is recommended. SLCs also excel in demanding vibration environments.

MIL contacts Preci-Dip has drawn on its unique expertise and know-how to develop new MIL socket contacts based on clip technology. Two socket contact technologies are available –

hooded contacts using a reversed clip and hoodless contacts using an Eagle Grip clip. Both types of contact have successfully passed all the qualification tests according to AS39029 and are listed on the QPL. Preci-Dip also manufactures the corresponding precision-machined pin contacts. Separate electroplating processes for the body and clip allow the best cost-performance ratio, effectively assuring the ideal gold plating in the contact area. The assembly of the parts is then carried out on dedicated, fully automated assembly lines. Reversed clip contacts are presently available in in size 12, 16, 20 and 22. This proprietary technology, entirely developed by Preci-Dip, is protected by international patents. In comparison with the traditional slotted contact body, the reversed clip design has several advantages: there is a smaller difference between insertion and extraction force, a reduced dispersion of the force values and better redundancy at the contact point, thanks to six or eight contact fingers. The hoodless contact consists of two parts – the contact body and the clip are


made from different base materials. The high-speed screw machined contact body is made of brass and the use of quality crimping brass makes annealing unnecessary. The precision stamped and formed Eagle Grip clip is made of beryllium-copper. Separate electroplating of the body and clip offers the best cost-performance ratio. “We are a very innovative company, very responsive to customers,” says Raymond Kerrison. “What facilitates that responsiveness is that we do everything in-house: we manufacture our own springs, we do all our own screw machining, stamping and moulding and we even manufacture our own tape and reel for packaging.”

Japan,” says Mr Kerrison. “We were also at the Farnborough International Air Show in the UK and we had a very successful Electronica trade fair in Munich. We anticipate approx. 10 per cent growth in 2013 and up to 40 per cent growth by 2015. We see a huge potential in the military and aerospace industries. To enhance our position in this market, our production facility has recently successfully completed EN 9100 certification. We are targeting TS16949 certification for the end of this year to reinforce our position in the automotive market. Our growth will come organically. There is also a possible extension of our manufacturing operations to Asia.”

Worldwide sales

Positioning for the future

Prec-Dip has sales offices in Germany, Italy and France as well as in the USA, China and Japan with 20–25 per cent of sales are generated in the USA, 15–20 per cent in Asia and 60 per cent in Europe. “Last year we were present for the first time at trade fairs in China, India and

“We will continue to enhance our standard product range of contacts, sockets and SLCs with high-quality competitive products but we are also going to differentiate ourselves by providing our customers with high-quality customised solutions,” explains Raymond Kerrison. “Where the environment

is challenging and standard solutions do not provide satisfaction, we will excel. We are positioning ourselves where we will not have any serious competitors because we will offer customised solutions that no-one else can implement and industrialise as effectively n as we can.”

TOTAL SYSTEM SOLUTIONS Turkish defence electronics giant Aselsan, based in Ankara, can lay claim to being the market leader in defence electronics in the domestic market. In recent years it has been taking its hi-tech knowledge and electronics expertise to a similar level on the global market, as Industry Europe discovers.


selsan is one of the leading enterprises in the Turkish electronics industry. This is a company that has a rich history of offering innovative solutions as a componentlevel manufacturer, but now also provides its customers with total system solutions. And in a bid to fully exploit its position to offer its markets innovative comprehensive systems solutions, it is currently in the process of undertaking a number of modernisation and integration projects that require system engineering.

Firm foundations in the military Aselsan was founded in 1975 by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation to produce tactical military radios and self defence electronic systems for the Turkish army.

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Today, it is the leading multi-product electronics company in Turkey that has expanded its field of expertise to now include designing, developing and manufacturing modern electrical systems for professional customers alongside its traditional applications in the military. Today, the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation continues to be the main shareholder in this exciting hi-tech company as it holds 84 per cent of the shares, with IMKB maintaining a 15 per cent stake in the business, and the remaining one per cent being owned by the insurance company AXA-Oyak. The company employs over 3000 people, with its team of highly skilled engineers making up a third of the workforce. In fact, such is the company’s focus on investing in knowledge and information – which it believes are

two of the most vital components of achieving sustainable growth – that no less than 700 of its 1333 engineers are dedicated to working in research and development.

Production structure Aselsan operates two main production facilities in Ankara. Its main site is still located at the birthplace of the company in Macunkoy, which hosts the company’s headquarters alongside its Communications, Microwave and System Technologies Divisions. The main facility has been the subject of expansion since the early days, with Aselsan now operating on a site of some 186,000m2 with 86,000m2 of the site covered. Its third division, the Microelectronics, Guidance and Electro-optics division is located at

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the Electro-optics Technology Centre in Akyurt, which began production in 1992. In the same year the company also added radar systems to its portfolio of products and services.

Advanced electronic systems Aselsan competes on a global sales platform with a range of advanced electronics systems. Its portfolio includes military communication systems – defence and weapon systems, radar systems, navigation and guidance products and command control systems – together with mobile radios for its professional communications customers. It has also designed and developed a range of traffic systems, which includes its highway manual toll collection and professional electronic systems, together with TV transmitters, siren and public

announcement equipment and central alarm systems, which is sells to its many customers in this division. However, its main product areas continue to be its C4ISR systems, airborne electronic warfare self-protection systems, air defence systems and electro-optical systems. Aselsan expects these same products to offer the most potential for growth in the ensuing years.

Objective to increase global presence Within the scope of the projects already undertaken by the company, Aselsan is not only active in its domestic market, but is currently making great efforts to compete in the international arena. In fact, nowadays it is exporting its products to customers located

in more than 25 countries including the likes of Germany, USA, the Netherlands, Pakistan and Malaysia. And indeed, one of the main objectives of the company is to increase the amount of global sales. Therefore, one of its strategies for the coming years is to continue to exploit additional opportunities in its global markets, aside from those that exist in Europe. Aselsan has identified 30 countries that have certain needs and requirements that it believes it can meet with its years of electronics expertise and product portfolio, and the company is now directing its efforts to penetrate the markets in these countries.

Customer-specific engineering As a systems integrator and total system provider, Aselsan works with its customers on various specific engineering projects. That is to say it designs, develops and manufactures specific systems as per a customer’s exact requirements. The customer and its individual needs define the specifications of a final product or system depending on their requirements, so as a result, many of Aselsan’s systems and products are unique n to the marketplace it serves.

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GLOBAL LEADERS IN PCBs Former Austrian state-owned printed circuit board maker AT&S is currently Europe’s largest circuit board manufacturer and one of the market leaders in high-end printed circuit board technology. Industry Europe looks at the reasons behind its success.

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ustrian circuit board maker AT&S (Austria Technology & System Engineering Corporation) is the largest and most technologically advanced producer of printed circuit boards in Europe. Its printed circuit boards (PCBs) are used as electromechanical linking elements, predominantly in the telecommunications sector (for example, mobile phones), as well as in the automobile industry and industrial and medical technology.

Its thin, highly complex printed circuit boards make it a key supplier to leading players across the telecommunications industry. The product portfolio ranges from single and double-side to multilayer printed circuit boards at the frontier of technology.

Post-privatisation success AT&S was formed from three state-owned companies that unified as one company under a single name, and privatised through

a management buy-out in 1994. It pursued a strategy of focusing on the mobile phones business throughout the 1990s and into the early years of the new millennium, but the subsequent downturn in the industry provided the incentive for spreading risk across a broader product portfolio. “During the 90s AT&S was dedicated to the mobile phones industry and enjoyed the benefits of tracking a strong market. This growth was so dynamic that we decided

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to become one of the main suppliers to just two of the largest players, Nokia and Siemens. Our strong partnership with these companies carried us when the PCB industry suffered hard times at the turn of the century,” explained a company representative. In 2008, AT&S was listed on the Vienna stock exchange, followed in 2009 by the restructuring and reorientation of its Leoben plant towards a high-value industrial business. It was in this year that its Shanghai business also became focused on the high-end mobile devices segment. In 2010, the group headquarters were relocated from Vienna to Leoben-Hinterberg. The year 2011 saw the acquisition of land and the start of the construction of its plant in Chongqing, China.

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Application areas Key areas of application include PCBs for measurement technology and large industrial machines. Demand for PCBs in the automotive industry is driven by the increasing number of electronics installed in vehicles. The automotive industry accounts for 12 to 14 per cent of turnover. AT&S aims to focus on profitable niches where the PCB satisfies special requirements, like ‘zero defects’ demanded for ABS, as well as internal lighting or electronic windows. Within AT&S, industrial is the fastest growing segment and has been for the last two years. Industry customers want smaller volumes, but greater engineering support. It is essential to be close to customers. For this reason most of its industrial customers are European, while it has telecommunica-

tions and automotive customers worldwide. The automotive market is one of the largest markets in Europe but it is very mature and slow moving. Demand for PCBs from the automotive industry reflects this. It takes about two years of preliminary work to qualify for an order and then the product runs for about four or five years until the model is upgraded or replaced.

A new technology segment Recently, AT&S made the first moves towards entering a new technology segment. It will be expanding its portfolio with the production of integrated circuit (IC) substrates and entering into a further high-tech business segment. IC-substrates serve as a connection between semiconductors and printed circuit boards.

The company’s management decided to make this move in recognition of the trend that is bringing requirements for semiconductors and printed circuit boards ever closer together, and converging production technologies. The production of IC-substrates will be in China. AT&S will build up the necessary know-how with support from a leading semiconductor manufacturer and will enter the market in close cooperation with the same. Investment in this new area of production is expected to total around €350 million, excluding start-up costs.

the plant at Nanjangud in 1999 after the parent company Indal decided to concentrate on its core business and sold off the site. At Leoben, the largest plant in Austria, and at Shanghai, production is focused exclusively on PCBs for mobile phones. At Fehring, Fohnsdsorf and Nanjangud, it is split between PCBs for the automotive industry and industrial applications. Klagenfurt concentrates exclusively on manufacturing PCBs for automotive applications.

Focused production

R&D plays a crucial role in maintaining the company’s position as one of the leading players in the PCB market. Direct investment in R&D accounts for about 2.5 per cent of turnover. In addition, it benefits from an R&D

Production is organised across four sites in Austria – Leoben-Hinterberg, Fohnsdsorf, Fehring and Klagenfurt – and at Nanjangud, India and Shanghai, China. AT&S acquired

Leveraged research

network set up with suppliers, customers and research bodies, as the company representative explained: “R&D is very important, and so we have divided this into industrial research and scientific research. As one of the leaders in PCB technology, we need to invest substantially in R&D in order to keep our position. “You have to innovate, and there are small things like surface treatments where you can bring new technologies to the market and have a unique selling position. Our customers in the mobile phone business will not deal with a supplier if other suppliers do not have the same technology. This is because they cannot run the risk of total reliance on a single source. While such developments confer an advantage for a short period of time, very important n innovations are patented.”

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Phonak’s microchips drive industry-leading speech-in-noise performance.

SOUND SOLUTIONS Phonak Communications is the global leader in miniaturised hearing technology. Philip Yorke talked to Evert Dijkstra, the company’s managing director, about how the company is setting new digital standards in interference-free communications.

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Phonak Communications is an expert in miniaturised electronics.


honak Communications AG, founded in Murten, Switzerland, in 1992, is a member of the Sonova Group, which has produced state-of-the-art hearing systems and wireless devices for more than 60 years. Phonak Communication’s consistent success has led it to become the clear global market and technology leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of ultra-miniaturised wireless hearing systems. During the last ten years the company has broadened its product portfolio to include hearing products designed for professional markets such as the police, industrial workers and

airline pilots. Today it offers advanced, miniaturised systems that range from dynamic hearing protection devices and prompting earpieces, to two-way radio headsets and comprehensive covert communications systems.

Dynamic results The key to the technology that Phonak Communications produces is that its advanced signal processing technology ensures customers only hear the sounds that they want to hear, without distracting background noise or interference. This is particularly true of its latest pilot headset, the FreeCom 7000. This has

been described by leading aviation journals as “The new category leader in terms of both comfort and speech intelligibility”. In the January issue of Cockpit magazine its editor-in-chief, Max Ungricht wrote, “FreeCom 7000 surpasses anything that came before. It is perfect for demanding environments with different noise sources and offers great comfort during the entire flight”. Mr Dijkstra said, “We are delighted that Europe’s top aviation editors are, like our customers, finding FreeCom to be a uniquely comfortable and high-performance pilot headset. Unlike restrictive muff-style products Industry Europe 105

Producing the circuit boards for Phonak’s Serenity DP+ dynamic hearing protection system

that are hot and cause tiring pressure around the head and ears, FreeCom 7000 offers total freedom from discomfort, and its sound performance is second to none. “It is also worth remembering that hearing loss is known to result from noise levels of at least 85 decibels for more than eight hours a day,” he added, “and for pilots of planes and helicopters this is a regular occurrence. Freecom 7000 drastically reduces this risk with the additional benefit of enhanced performance and safety due to unparalleled, crystal-clear communication.” FreeCom 7000, part of Phonak’s wider FreeCom range of headsets, is a custommoulded in-ear solution that includes a stateof-the-art noise-cancelling boom microphone. This latest release also features ‘dynamic’ level-dependent hearing protection, adjustable ambient awareness (which users particularly love), excellent speech intelligibility and the clearest possible voice transmission.

Driving a hearing revolution In the education field, one of Phonak’s key markets, this April has seen thousands of hearing-impaired children being given the 106 Industry Europe

opportunity to be able to better hear and understand their teachers in class – through the launch of Roger. Educational audiologists and teachers of the deaf traditionally prescribed hearing-impaired students with so-called ‘FM’ microphone and receiver systems, which work alongside hearing aids to significantly improve a child’s speech-innoise performance (i.e. in class) by bringing the teacher’s voice directly to the ear. An approach that has been proven to aid learning. Launched in April, Roger is the new digital gold standard that replaces FM as the best performing hearing system for understanding speech in such difficult listening environments. This revolutionary new platform will be available for the education market from 14 June this year. “Roger surpasses all of today’s FM and equivalent digital systems in terms of its ease of use, and it offers a genuine scientific breakthrough in signal-to-noise ratio,” said Mr Dijkstra. Roger is also the most compatible standard of its kind. Roger systems can work alongside virtually every behind-the-ear hearing aid, cochlear implant and soundfield room amplification system. The key component to

Roger systems for education, the Roger Inspiro teacher microphone, is also the only such product capable of talking to Roger, FM and soundfield systems simultaneously. The result is that every child in a class, whether hearing-impaired or normal hearing, can enjoy Roger levels of speech understanding – either by listening via their Roger systems, via FM, or over the room’s ‘soundfield’ loudspeaker system. Mr Dijkstra added, “In Roger we have developed an entirely new kind of wireless product, which is revolutionary in many respects. Because it only requires a small current of 2 milliwatts and it harnesses the flexibility of digital technology, we can also now apply this technology to the many other products in our portfolio. In other words, we now have the ability to customise our solutions. So whether a product is for educational purposes, police forces or pilots it can be easily adapted to that market while the underlying product, with its unsurpassed speech clarity, remains the same. “We can leverage this technology for big volume production and high-performance as the standardised components go into everything that we produce. We also maintain the highest quality standards and technical support ser-

ROTIMA AG ROTIMA AG Custom designed wounded components are our goal. We provide full service, having our own design and development engineers for ferrite materials, as well as the realisation of specific wounded goods in accordance with quality assurance and supply chain. All is manufactured in-house, which gives us high flexibility and is a big benefit for our customers. You will find our components in medical-, industrial-, renewable energy-, military- and automotive applications. For more information refer to:

vices, which is why we are the market leader in these applications with more than a 60 per cent market share in most countries and a turnover of more than €100 million.”

Enhancing security for the covert market For international undercover police and surveillance teams, two things matter above all else: uninterrupted communications and discretion. Today these challenges are met by another new technological breakthrough by Phonak: the Profilo Nano radio earpiece. The world’s smallest, 100 per cent interference-free covert earpiece, Profilo Nano is so small it is invisible to bystanders and thanks to its proprietary transductive technology it is completely immune to the electromagnetic interference (EMI) that alarm systems, vehicles and other electronic circuits can cause. Mr Dijkstra commented, “With the launch of Profilo Nano we can offer covert professionals the discretion of the industry’s smallest ever earpiece form-factor with the confidence that n zero interference brings.” For more on Phonak’s communication systems, visit and Industry Europe 107

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 108 Industry Europe

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 (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 syn-

ergies 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

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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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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.

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 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 develop-

ment 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

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The Danish company Aalborg Energie Technik a.s. (AET), a leading engineering company and EPC contractor, can now offer fuel flexible biomass boilers with a boiler efficiency of 92 per cent and an reliability of 99 per cent. The company, whose mission is to develop, supply, erect, commission and service biomass fired boilers and CHP plants of 25–170MW thermal input, continues to supply its customers with advanced, economical solutions on a long-term basis.


recent years, a number of Danish companies have begun to lead the way in several key renewable energy markets, and today they are the leading global and European players. For one such company, AET, innovation is the key to its international reputation. Its employees have more than 25 years of experience in the biomass boiler business, giving it a strong in-house knowledge base and allowing it to supply some of the most advanced biomass power and CHP plants in Europe.

The AET solutions Good engineering is the key to the design and supply of reliable biomass power plants. In order to achieve optimal plant performance day after day, each of the components needs

to be carefully engineered and integrated to function as a whole. This can, according to AET, be best achieved by creating a detailed design of the most essential parts in-house. AET’s knowledge and experience means that it can offer clients biomass plants with a number of advantages. They have an availability of more than 99 per cent (more than 96 per cent with planned stops included) giving stable electricity, heat or steam production throughout the year, and a higher boiler efficiency (92 per cent) resulting in a higher net output for the same amount of fuel. They are fuel flexible and incorporate robust technology which avoids unnecessary shut-downs due to foreign objects that might be hidden in the fuel. Furthermore, they have low maintenance costs and

require low in-house power consumption with reduced operating costs. Lastly, they are an environmentally friendly solution with low flue gas emissions.

The AET Combustion System The AET Combustion System plays a crucial role in the supply of efficient and reliable biomass boiler plants. This concept, which is based on spreader stoker technology and a travelling grate, has been developed and refined, and today it is one of the most suitable technologies for biomass firing. Burning the biomass efficiently depends on several factors, such as the fuel dosing method and the mixture with air in the combustion chamber. Within the AET Combustion System the fuel is pneumatically

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transported into the combustion zone using AET BioSpreaders for wood chips. The fuel is injected uniformly into the furnace and is spread on the grate by an injection-stoker. Around 50 per cent of the fuel is burned in a fluidised bed above the combustion chamber before it reaches the grate; the remaining half is burned in a fixed bed combustion on the grate. This gives a low grate load, high combustion efficiency and residence times of less than four seconds. The grate, which forms a ‘floor’ in the furnace, is an AET-BioGrate travelling grate. The continuously moving grate carpet slowly transports the burning fuel layer towards the boiler front where the ash falls into the ash pit. The grate speed can be adjusted to account for variations in fuel quality and ash content. One of the requirements for achieving good combustion is that air and fuel in the lower part of the furnace must be mixed thoroughly. This is achieved by placing the air nozzles at the right places and injecting the air through the nozzles with high velocity and by a jet layer.

Another advantage is that the plant sends less heat throughout the chimney because the amount of flue gas is smaller, meaning less environmental pollution.

Technology for a sound economy For investors, economy is often the determining factor when deciding to build a biomass power or cogeneration plant. Choosing the right EPC contractor or boiler supplier is in many cases determined by the price, but other aspects need to be taken into consideration. By choosing a boiler with a high efficiency and low in-house power consumption the accumulated income over 20 years can be increased by up to 20 per cent. For example, the in-house power consumption for the entire Western Wood Energy plant was only 1150 kW, equivalent to only 2.1 per cent of the fuel heat input or 6.7 per cent of the gross power output. Plant availability is another factor to be considered. If this is increased by 400 hours, which is realistic with AET solutions,

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the accumulated income over 20 years can be improved by around 10 per cent. Finally, fuel flexible boiler plants also have an influence on the overall economy. A 5 per cent change in the fuel price will result in a change of up to 10 per cent of the accumulated income over 20 years. Since AET boiler plants can be fired with various types of biomass, this enables customers to be more flexible to fuel price variations. Fuels fired in AET biomass power plants and combined heat and power plants include wood chips, bark demolition wood, wood waste, sander n dust, agricultural waste and straw.

PRIDE IN EVERY MOVE Aarbakke AS is one of the world’s leading machining companies. Abigail Saltmarsh reports on its operation.


Norwegian Aarbakke AS the motto is Pride in Every Move – and president Inge Brigt Aarbakke can be justifiably proud. Under the guidance of its CEO, the company has gone from strength to strength, and today, as one of the world’s leading machining companies, it is about to expand its capacity to meet increasing demand. “I started the company back in 1981 with one CMC machine,” says Mr Aarbakke. “We started off just machining parts for Norwegian industry. After five or six years, however, we began supplying the oil and gas industry and that is where we are today. “Now all our customers supply and install critical systems for the oil industry.” He goes on: “We have seen significant growth since then. Today we employ 280

people and last year we saw a turnover of €110 million and are now about to embark upon this expansion.”

Complete control Aarbakke is located in the Stavanger region, in the heartland of Norway’s oil industry. The region also has a long industrial tradition, based on practical solutions to specific problems, says Mr Aarbakke. “This tradition remains important to our employees. Our core values include knowledge, honesty, fellowship, winning culture and quality. Aarbakke has been built on this region’s industrial heritage, characterised by pride, hard work and innovation. Quality, delivery time, traceability and documentation have been key success factors for us.

“In order to meet customer expectations on these factors, we have developed our Monza engine, a complete control and production monitoring tool that controls every process in the company.”

Global customers Aarbakke delivers advanced turnkey solutions, assembly and parts to the oil industry. It focuses on subsea and downhole systems. “We produce everything in house and have complete control of everything,” he explains. “We can deliver entire projects from the initial idea to engineering, purchase of materials and components, production,

assembly and testing. All parts and components are verified and documented at all stages throughout the process.” Aarbakke, who has six major customers, prides itself on developing long-term relationships. It works closely with its customers to develop those relationships. “Our customers are all global operators, who are based in Houston – the biggest oil sales centre in the world,” he adds.

Extra capacity As part of its growth plans, Aarbakke is building a new hall for assembly and testing. The hall will be built on a 12,000m2 plot near the current facilities at Håland in Bryne.

“Many of our customers are growing and demanding greater capacity. In addition, we have recently signed several long-term agreements that require predictability,” he says. This expansion is therefore an important and integral part of our plans for the future. We plan to start building work after the summer.” The new hall, which represents a total investment of more than €26 million, should be operational by May or June 2014, he continues. It will see Aarbakke increase its workforce to 325 employees. “The new facility will also allow us to double production,” Mr Aarbakke stresses. “Many of our customers are growing and demanding greater capacity. In addition,

The company was started in 2004 and we have grown to be one of the leading paint workshops in this region. Jaeren Overflatebehandling provides services for oil companys in industrial coating, xylan and metallisation.

we have recently signed several long-term agreements that require predictability. This expansion is therefore an important and integral part of our plans for the future.”

Engineering department The growth of Aarbakke is also seeing it establish a dedicated engineering department. The new department will be located in the Forum Jæren business centre in central Bryne. The plan is that the department will eventually have 20 engineers in addition to an administrative head. The recruitment process is already under way to ensure that the department is operational as soon as possible. “Several of our customers want us to be more involved in the engineering aspects of projects. The establishment of an engineer-

ing department will enable us to deliver turn key projects, as well as allowing us to take on larger projects. “The engineering department will work in close collaboration with both the customers and the production team to ensure top quality in all our deliveries and quick service. Our goal is to develop in line with our customers’ needs, which is why we are taking this step now,” Mr Aarbakke says. “Our plan is to grow by about 20 to 25 per cent every year.” And he adds: “This is another example of how we aim to be best at whatever we do, and to develop together with our customers. That means top quality machinery, control of all processes and a highly qualified workforce. But above all, it means that we take n pride in every move we make.”

PRESSURISED PERFECTION Chesterfield Special Cylinders is a global leader in the development and manufacture of safety-critical, high-pressure gas cylinders. Philip Yorke talked to Lee Lawrence, the company’s sales manager, about its latest prestigious contracts and new growth markets.

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Lee Lawrence, sales manager


or over a century Chesterfield Special Cylinders have been leading the world in the development of high performance gas containment equipment. The company was originally founded in 1897 in Chesterfield, UK, as the Chesterfield Tube Company and was a pioneer in the manufacture of seamless tubes before producing the world’s first high-pressure gas cylinder. As the clear leader in its field, Chesterfield soon

became a global supplier and even today its CTCO stamp is recognised as a guarantee of quality and reliability. In 2004, after a management buy-out the company streamlined its activities to focus solely on the production of special, tailormade, high pressure cylinders for safety critical applications. Since moving to its new premises, a state-of-the-art plant in Sheffield, UK, a city renowned for manufacturing

excellence, the company has seen rapid growth and in 2007 formed a holding company: The Pressure Technologies Group. Today the company is listed on the UK’s ‘AIM’ stock market and Chesterfield’s high-performance special cylinders serve a diverse range of industries from defence and aerospace to oil and gas and transport as well as providing bulk HP gas storage installations worldwide.

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Acota are the UK distributor of 3M™ specialty chemicals and solvent materials. We promote the 3M Novec™ range of hydrofluoroethers (HFE’s). A new solvent family is poised to take LOX/GOX cleaning into a new era. 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids HFE-7100 and HFE-71DE, hydrofluoroethers, have proven to be suitable replacements for CFCs and HCFCs in many critical LOX/ GOX cleaning applications. We are able to offer high end analytical techniques and cleaning equipment facilities to analyse surface chemistries and provide parts trials to support our process recommendations. Acota Limited, Centrepoint, Knights Way, Shrewsbury. SY1 3BF Tel: +44 (0)1743-466200 • Fax: +44 (0)1743-466555 • Contact: Mark Duggan -

Summitglow Ltd. Heat Treatment Specialists this year are celebrating their 30th anniversary. We offer a comprehensive range of treatments including, Nitriding, Carburising, and Hardening & Tempering to name only a few! We are ISO 9001:2008 registered. Please visit our website for all the latest information. Philip Watkinson - Managing Director Summitglow Ltd. 45 Harleston Street, Sheffield, S4 7QB

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Growth in energy markets driving sales Chesterfield Special Cylinder’s primary role is to be an integral part of the design and engineering process for projects in which high-pressure cylinder systems play a vital function. One of the company’s fastest growing markets is the energy sector, whether it is for oil and gas or renewables. It enjoys a worldwide reputation for its expertise in cylinder systems design, which is coupled with a practical ability to manufacture and test its high-tech products. The company’s unparalleled expertise and in-depth knowledge is available to anyone seeking the optimum solution to a gas containment requirement. It offers a broad

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range of advisory partnership services, including joint development at the initial design stage, prototype fatigue and burst testing, consultation with sub-contractors and end-users and technical solutions for any pressure system requirements. Chesterfield Special Cylinders core business comes from the oil and gas industries, as well as from the defence industry and in particular the naval and avionics sector. However, it is the energy sector that is seeing the strongest growth potential, as Lee explained, “We have always been a major player in the energy sector and today our biggest contributor to sales remains this industry sector, with the biggest potential

coming from the alternative fuels market. We have unsurpassed technical know-how in this area, with a highly qualified, multiskilled workforce and as a result of our innovative R&D, our control-flow technology leads the world. “Today oil and gas is by far our biggest business sector and continues to drive sales. Our motion-compensation technology is utilised in deep water environments to allow oil rigs, drill ships and support vessels to continue to operate in challenging sea conditions. Our cylinders are designed to provide optimal performance within extreme temperature ranges, operating at maximum efficiency between –50oC to plus +65oC.

“As a global operator with the ability to provide technical service and support worldwide, we offer a turnkey package including a world-class design service and risk-free technical solutions.” Mr Lee added, “We don’t just offer a cylinder to a customer but always look at what is required of it and the environment in which it will be used. We also have a global in-situ testing and servicing team available 24/7. The team can manage the strict maintenance and inspection protocols that are required of all of our customers’ high-pressure cylinders. These must be tested at regular intervals every 5–10 years. Our global team is able to service and certify all types of cylinders currently in operation throughout the world, whether they originated from us or from another supplier. Our world-leading cleaning services are unsurpassed when it comes to the internal cleaning of cylinders, which is often critical when it comes to oxygen cylinders, where any hydrocarbon residues can be an explosion risk. As the clear technology leaders in our field, we are

committed to maintaining and building upon our reputation for quality, innovation and unrivalled service worldwide.”

Prestigious USAF F-22 Raptor contract Recently Chesterfield Special Cylinders secured a prestigious order to supply the US Air Force with high pressure cylinders for its entire fleet of F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft. These safety-critical, high-pressure cylinders form a vital component of the Raptor’s new automatic back-up oxygen supply system (ABOS). Retrofitting the entire F-22 fleet with this advanced equipment involved working closely with Honeywell Aerospace Systems. This contract was expected to be completed by mid 2014; however, Chesterfield has already retrofitted 40 of the USAF’s F-22 Raptors by the time of going to press. Chesterfield Special Cylinders has a long and proud history of providing vital pilot oxygen systems to military aircraft. This includes iconic aircraft from WW2, such as Spitfires and Lancasters, and subsequently Vulcans, Hawks and more recently the

advanced F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It is this exceptional track record for reliability and safety that helped Chesterfield to secure the prestige USAF contract in competition with other manufacturers. In preparation for the F-22 retrofitting programme, the company’s headquarters near Meadowhall, Sheffield, was the focus of a thorough inspection by USAF representatives. The USAF audited the manufacturing processes, material sources, traceability and reporting systems, thus confirming Chesterfield Special Cylinders as the supplier of choice. Mick Pinder, the company’s managing director added, “This is a highly prestigious order and we are honoured to be selected. Chesterfield Special Cylinders prides itself on manufacturing to the highest standards and we look forward to our continued work with Honeywell Aerospace and n the United States Air Force.” For further details about Chesterfield Special Cylinders products and turnkey technical services visit:

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ON A NEW TRACK In the past two years, MVM OVIT Zrt. (MVM OVIT National Power Line Company Ltd.), a member of the largest state-owned Hungarian corporate energy group, the MVM Group, has taken significant steps to ensure that its specialist capabilities can be utilised in the wider electricity sector. Besides extending their activities, the company focused on establishing new links in foreign markets in order to increase export trades. Edina Beale reports.

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012 was a milestone in the history of MVM OVIT Zrt. The company, whose core business was to construct high voltage power transmission lines and substations for over six decades, had to face the reality that due to the full completion of the transmission line systems in Hungary, it will only be required to carry out small scale projects in this field in the near future. As a result of this, MVM OVIT Zrt was determined to examine how to utilise its professional knowledge, capabilities and work

references acquired in this field. A strategic decision was made to lay foundations in the railway sector and start assembling railway transmission lines. A large railway construction project – worth HUF 6 billion – was signed in 2012 and will run for three years. In addition, MVM OVIT Zrt. was required to modernise the Pilisvörösvár–Piliscsaba and Piliscsaba–Esztergom railway lines. “This indicates that the railway transmission line construction field is reasonably stable until 2015,” says Mr Péter Gopcsa, general

director of MVM OVIT Zrt. “If I consider the maintenance work required at the Cegléd traction station, the railway maintenance sector shows a steady future too.”

Long term commitment Whilst focusing on new directions, capacities have been continuously utilized to serve MVM OVIT Zrt’s two major partners, MAVIR ZRt (MAVIR Hungarian Independent Transmission Operator Company Ltd,) and MVM Paksi Atomerőmű Zrt. (MVM Paks Industry Europe 125

Nuclear Power Plant Ltd), both members of the MVM Group. Nearly 60 per cent of the company’s HUF 47 billion turnover was generated by these two firms in 2012. Two large projects including the construction of the 400kV substation in Debrecen and the Martonvásár–Győr 400kV transmission line required by MAVIR ZRt, provided a large chunk of the turnover achieved by MVM OVIT Zrt. In 2009 MVM OVIT Zrt. began to replace 8 block transformers (DHM 270000/400 type) at the MVM Paks Nuclear Power Plant. “The project which involves purchasing, planning and implementation will be completed in 2014. There are also long-term contracts with this partner to provide maintenance service for the safety cooling water systems, for the reactor and for the primary and secondary appliances,” reveals Mr Gopcsa. In addition, the company carries 126 Industry Europe

out high voltage installation and maintenance works and provides welding and pipe assembling services as well as repairing steel structures for this nuclear power plant.

Expanding abroad MVM OVIT Zrt is a market-leading company in almost all areas of the energy market in Hungary. There is no other company in this field that can compare in terms of size and diversity. From power plants to energy suppliers, MVM OVIT Zrt serves a wide range of customers with its products, whether it is manufacturing or assembling them. Whilst maintaining its wide range of products and services MVM OVIT Zrt expects to achieve growth in equipment manufacturing required by power stations. In order to stay competitive the company is looking to conquer foreign markets with its innovative activities. “We aim to introduce our products

to the international market and apply for foreign tenders. Currently 10 per cent of our income is from export activities.” In Kiskunfélegyháza, where MVM OVIT Zrt manufactures boilers and components for power stations, the most significant foreign project was the Vantaan project in Finland; MVM OVIT Zrt. was required to manufacture heat recovery steam generators (HRSG). Transmission line and substation projects have been completed in Scotland, Germany and Austria. A large and important assignment acquired in 2012 was the development of the Swiss based CERN 66kV substations. “Based on our experiences so far, it is a serious task to work in new technological circumstances, new health and safety rules and in a different language environment,” explains Mr Gopcsa: “This requires huge amount of discipline and good professional preparation. Fortunately,

we have the professional expertise and this is underpinned by my experience and our foreign partners confirmed this, too.” In the field of steel structure production Mr Gopcsa highlighted the Kutaisi airport project in Georgia. “This signifies the direction we need to take once all of the high voltage power transmission line constructions in Hungary are completed.” Another important result in this field is that due to being a partner of E.ON Germany for many years as a reliable supplier of high-quality steel structures, this year the energy giant has put more faith into MVM OVIT Zrt than ever before. From the total of 11 018 tonnes of steel structures, MVM OVIT Zrt is

required to manufacture 4035 tonnes of steel structures needed for E.ON’s transmission construction projects. “Part of the preparation to serve the foreign market is to establish a stable base office in the target countries. We are considering setting up one in Germany, but this depends on the agreement we will make with our German partners, and on our involvement to join in the several thousand km long high voltage transmission line building programme starting next year in Germany,” explains Mr Gopcsa. “We also have more and more sales representatives in the Scandinavian countries, in the Balkans n and in the Ukrainian market.”

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MAXIMISING ENERGY POTENTIAL The OMV Group is based in Austria and is the foremost energy producer in central and south-eastern Europe. Philip Yorke looks at the strategy behind the group’s dramatic growth and the latest additions to its production portfolio. The report also covers the launch of the company’s latest HVO Biocomponent premium diesel fuel.


ith group sales of more than €23 billion and a workforce of around 32,000 employees, OMV Aktiegesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. As the leading energy group in the European growth belt, OMV is active in refining and marketing its products in 12 countries. In exploration and production the group is operational in 17 countries on four continents. In the gas and power sector, OMV sells approximately 13bcm (billion cubic metres) of gas per year. The company’s central European Gas Hub generates over 23bcm in annual trading volume, making it one of the most important gas hubs in central Europe.

Under the company’s dedicated ‘3plus’ business strategy, OMV combines the strengths of its E&P (Exploration & Production), G&P (Gas & Power) and R&M (Research & Marketing) business units to ensure that it provides the optimum supply service to its three core markets of central and eastern Europe, south-eastern Europe and Turkey.

Success in Australia On 13 April 2011, OMV announced the discovery of significant gas reserves in Australia, after its successful exploration of the Zola-1 well, located 100km from the Western Australian coast. The discovery well Zola-1 and

the subsequently drilled ‘sidetrack’ appraisal well, Zola-1S/T, confirmed the existence of sandstone layers with 130m of net gas pay in an area south of the giant Australian Gorgon gas field. Jaap Huijskes, member of the OMV Executive Board responsible for exploration and production said at the time: “Zola-1 is one of OMV’s biggest gas discoveries and is the result of a successful and safely carried out exploration and appraisal drilling campaign. We are very proud of OMV’s exploration activities in Australia, which have culminated in this significant discovery on the North West Shelf. The next step will be to further appraise the

discovery, including the acquisition of a new, 3D seismic survey.” OMV’s growth in the past couple of years has been coming via new field developments, exploration and further international acquisitions. The company is looking to grow its existing portfolio on a country per country basis and is hoping to find new growth areas

within the Caspian, Middle East and North Africa Regions, where it can leverage its existing E&P exposure. Furthermore, the group has enhanced its investments in North Africa in Tunisia, where it acquired 100 per cent of the issued share capital of Pioneer Natural Resources Tunisia Ltd and Pioneer Natural Resources Anaguid Ltd. This transaction added immediate production potential and significant exploration and development prospects ‘upside’, in addition to substantial operational synergies alongside OMV’s existing Tunisian assets.

The dawn of a new fuel era Since 26 April 2011 motorists in eight European countries have been able to benefit from OMV’s significant breakthrough in high-performance, low emission diesel fuels, branded as OMV MaxxMotion. This all-new, premium fuel guarantees improved performance and lower fuel consumption. The fuel’s unique, high-performance additives and advanced HVO Biocomponent sets new standards in fuel efficiency and sustainability. In addition, engines will be given long-term protection against corrosion and the build-up of sediment and will therefore be guaranteed a longer service life. OVM’s much improved

HVO Biocomponent has outstanding technical characteristics compared to the conventional FAME Biocomponent in use and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 42 per cent. The latest MaxxMotion fuel dispensers lead the way towards a new fuel era where improved engine performance and environmental sustainability work together for the benefit of everyone.

Tapping potential in key markets OMV’s core markets include central and eastern Europe, south-east Europe and Turkey, which together represent regions with a large energy requirement and a population exceeding 200 million people. This growth belt offers an attractive market in which demand for natural gas, electricity and petroleum products is growing rapidly. OMV continues to develop the huge potential of these three key markets from its regional centres in Vienna, Bucharest and Istanbul, all of which offer an ideal base for tapping into existing wells and new ones, such as those in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. In Romania the company produces large quantities of oil and natural gas together with Petrom, Romania’s leading oil and natural gas producer. The OMV Group acquired a 51 per cent stake in Petrom in 2004. n


POWER SOLUTIONS The Finnish company Wärtsilä is a world leader in power solutions such as engines for ships and power plants for electricity generation. The company is also a major supplier of heavy-duty engines for the production and transport of oil and gas.


ärtsilä produces power plants for oilfields, engines for crude oil pumping and compression solutions for gas gathering and processing. As a means of power generation, Wärtsilä’s engines provide a higher level of efficiency than traditional alternatives. “Compared to gas turbines, our engine technology is very efficient. A 10 megawatt gas turbine has a 30 per cent electrical efficiency, but a 10MW unit from Wärtsilä gives you an electrical efficiency of about 45 per cent.”

Technology In the oil and gas industry, the consequences of a fault can be ruinously expensive. Wärtsilä’s engines are therefore designed and built for continuous reliability. Production is based

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

fuels in different ratios. The quality of the fuel changes over time but with our technology the engines will cope with these changes.

Utilising recovered gas A particularly significant innovation from Wärtsilä is its GasReformer – an efficient and flexible solution for utilising associated gas or VOCs recovered from oil production. With this solution, gases that were previously considered as waste can now be converted into a valuable source of energy. Together with the Wärtsilä dual-fuel (DF) engines, this is the most efficient and flexible solution for utilising gas or VOCs. The main application area for this is in offshore oil and gas production. Here, the traditional way to get rid of associated gas or

even recovered VOCs (volatile organic compounds) is either flaring, venting or burning in boilers or gas turbines with high operational costs and low efficiency. The GasReformer has been developed and designed to meet the standards of the oil and gas industry and is the first of its kind in the world. The GasReformer technology is based on steam reforming (SR), a catalytic process known from the petrochemical industry and refineries, where traditionally hydrogen is produced from various hydrocarbon feeds.

BTC pipeline Although thousands of articles have been written on the subject of ‘pipeline politics’, the engineering behind the pipelines is seldom appreciated. Pushing oil along

the pipeline takes power, and Wärtsilä’s engines for pumping play a vital role in oil transportation. In Ecuador, Wärtsilä’s pumping units are employed in the Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline that carries oil from the oil receiving terminal in Lago Agrio to the port of Esmeraldas. In Turkey, Wärtsilä delivered the pumps and drivers for the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. The pipeline, whose total length is 1820 kilometres, transports oil from the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to the port of Ceyhan on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The BTC pipeline has a maximum capacity of one million barrels of oil per day. The operators of the pipeline, the BTC Consortium, awarded the construction

contracts to three different companies, one for each country. In Turkey, the job was given to the Botas Petroleum Pipeline Company. Botas, in turn, employed Wärtsilä to supply the pumps for the project. The Turkish section of the pipeline is the longest and runs for 1076 kilometres. Part of the Turkish section is through mountainous regions and the four pumping stations in Turkey are at altitudes of between 1600 and 2140 metres. The company made the engines that drive the pumps, and its advisors helped the main contractor. High up in the mountains it is essential that the combustion engines do not lose output. The engines run on natural gas, as there is a natural gas pipeline nearby. The pipeline requires a lot of power and the n engines generate nearly 100MW.

COMBINED STRENGTHS Standardkessel and Baumgarte represent two success stories backed by a combined 160 years of experience. Julia Snow reports on a company that is “Fuelled by ideas full of energy”.

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ntelligent boiler technologies for generating energy are more in demand than ever before, thanks to the decline in energy resources and the need to decelerate the climate change by reducing CO2 emissions. With an order intake of €150.5 million in 2011 and a total of 275 employees in the three German offices in Duisburg, Bielefeld and Oberhausen, Standardkessel Baumgarte Group is an international leader in boiler technology. Founded in 1925 and 1935 respectively, both companies are united in their strong roots in extensive research and development work. Today they share a reference list that includes the planning and construction of more than 1000 plants across the globe. Supported by a private Belgian partner, the group’s management acquired the group of companies from the former proprietor, the Dutch HTP Investments b.v., as of 21 May 2007. Standardkessel Power Systems Holding GmbH as well as both the wholly owned operative subsidiaries Standardkessel GmbH and Baumgarte Boiler Systems GmbH were the subjects of this transaction.

Wide range of technologies and services There are many ways in which different sources of energy can be transformed into heat, steam or electricity. Standardkessel and Baumgarte have cutting-edge know how in the supply of high-quality components, the implementation of complete complex systems, the provision of services as an EPCM contractor and in the delivery of top-notch plant services. Standardkessel and Baumgarte can demonstrate this expertise in their wide spectrum of fully developed process technologies – from traditional fuels like coal, gas and oil through to alternative fuels like biomass, biological residues, household waste or residues from industrial production processes. The plants and components division offers systems for recovering energy from biomass, residues, waste heat downstream of gas turbines and primary fuels, with a regional concentration on Europe. The service division provides numerous services for power plants, waste incineration stations and industrial plants, beginning with intelligent engineering aimed at modernisation as well as plant and operational optimi-

sation, and extending to assembly, installation and commissioning up to maintenance and complete plant management. The contracting division offers the complete design, planning and coordination of energy and power generation projects from a single source. The division provides services spanning project identification, financing, project development and realisation through to operation of the power generation plant and an equity interest. Services include engineering, project management, supply and commissioning of boiler and power plant systems, and after sales services for applications in the areas of energy supply, district heating, process steam and process heat. The company’s R&D department is currently working on the development of more specialised, tailor-made solutions and the emerging fluidised bed technology.

Expanding international presence Although there is a selection of international projects, the company’s main markets lie in Europe, served by the three sites in Ger-

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many as well as one in the UK and one in Saudi Arabia. A development milestone was achieved in October this year, with the completion of the financing deal for a biomass plant in Kauai, Hawaii. According to Green Energy Team LLC and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s recent announcement, they received the loan guarantee to build the biomass-to-energy facility near Koloa from the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. This loan signals the go-ahead for the beginning of the construction of the facility, which will burn woodchips from trees grown on Kauai, early next year. The project is backed by Deutsche Bank and Standardkessel Baumgarte, who is an equity partner in the project, and who will also design the plant. The plant, which

136 Industry Europe

is scheduled to be operational in 2014, will generate 6.7MW of electricity, enough to power 8500 homes, or 11 per cent of the Garden Island’s power needs. It will be the first closed-loop, biomass-toenergy plant in the USA, relying completely on the supply of its own sources of Kauai biomass wood chips, with no off-island dependence. Also, the project will create 200 construction jobs and 39 permanent operating jobs, as well as work for local subcontractors and service providers.

Fuelling further growth In the light of the outdated and aging fleet of power plants, a trend towards decentralised energy production and an increase in waste incineration, the market signs are very

positive for the Standardkessel Baumgarte Group in Europe in the medium term, providing an excellent strategic position. The company expects continued positive business development in the 2012 and 2013 financial years, based on positive market conditions for growth and expansion in both the plants and components division. Further growth is anticipated in the service division, and the contracting division is also expected to provide further positive momentum for the entire group. Future areas of growth will track emerging market trends closely, in line with the group’s strategy of offering solutions, not products. Finally, growth impulses are expected from new technologies as well as market extensions, with a special look to the East and Middle East. n



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

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

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 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 impos-

sible 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, 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).

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138 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 139

CLEAN AND GREEN Alfdex AB is the world’s leading supplier of highly efficient solutions for cleaning of crankcase gases from diesel engines. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at its exciting future.


2014, with the arrival of Euro 6 legislation, it will not only be emissions from exhaust pipes that will be subject to rigorous restrictions but also those from diesel crankcases. But Swedenbased Alfdex is ready for the change with its pioneering separation technology, which not only cleans the gases but also puts the oil back to the diesel engine rather than out into the environment. President of the company, Mats Ekeroth, explains that Alfdex has been supplying the US market up to this point. There, legislation was brought in earlier, and manufacturers are already building the technology into their trucks on a much higher scale. “We have been using this technology in North America since we started high volume production in 2007,” he explains. “When the new legislation arrives in Europe we will be ready with a new generation of products. We are already investing in new

assembly lines for this new version and we expect to double the number of separators we are producing.”

Crème de la crème Alfdex was founded in 2002 as a joint venture by the two Swedish companies Alfa Laval and Haldex. In 2011, Concentric took over the Haldex holding in Alfdex, so now Alfdex AB is a 50/50 joint venture between Alfa Laval and Concentric. Alfa Laval is a leading global provider of specialised products and engineering solutions based on its key technologies of separation, heat transfer and fluid handling. Concentric is a global company specialising in fluid dynamics and fluid power technologies. Its aim is to provide better fuel economy, emissions reduction, vehicle control and productivity in trucks, buses and off-road vehicles. Although Alfdex was established as late as 2004, its roots go back much further, as

Mr Ekeroth points out. In 1877, the Swedish inventor Gustav de Laval demonstrated his idea of using centrifugal force to separate cream from milk. De Laval’s idea has over the years created one of Sweden’s largest companies – Alfa Laval. “The idea for our product comes from developing this product. We have been reusing similar technology but for a very different application.”

Reusing the oil Many people do not realise that, in addition to exhaust pipes, crankcases are responsible for emissions, says Mr Ekeroth. Without a cleaning system, some 20 to 30 litres of oil is released to the environment. “The beauty of our system is that almost 100 per cent of that oil is taken back into the engine. It can be fitted into any diesel engine and it meets the requirements of the new emissions legislation,” he says.

Industry Europe 141 Located in south-sweden.

Metallfabriken EVO AB • Pressure die casting in aluminium with machines from 150 to 650 ton. (1500 to 6500 kN) • Pressure die casting in zinc with a 90 tons machine (900 kN) • Gravity die casting (kokill) in aluminium and zinc

The oil-driven separator already has a surplus of oil flow available from the engine’s lubrication pump, and this is more than sufficient to drive the separator. Using oil to drive the unit also guarantees that the bearings are properly lubricated throughout the separator’s service life, which is the same as the lifetime of the engine.

Centrifugal force The oil mist separator is built around a rotating conical disc stack. An oil turbine at the bottom of the centrifuge drives the disc stack. Part of the lubricating oil circulating in the engine is routed to a nozzle that directs an oil jet to drive the turbine. The oil and soot particles are removed from the gas by means of centrifugal forces of around 2500 to 3000g at a separator speed of 7000 to 9000rpm. The centrifugal force makes the droplets and particles coalesce and form larger clusters that flow towards the outer edge of the discs. From there they are discharged onto the inner wall of the separator housing. The droplets and particles then flow down to the bottom of the separator, before finally being returned to the engine sump.

The next step Operating today from a facility in the south of Sweden, the company sends approximately three-quarters of its output to the USA. There are currently no plans to relocate production, as the company feels well-placed to serve its growing European market. “In North America we have a market share of about 70 per cent. In Europe, it is about one-third but when the new legislation comes in we expect that to double to two-thirds, which is why we are making this significant investment in readiness,” says Mr Ekeroth. “After the legislation comes in here we expect it to be rolled out across the rest of the world over the next five to ten years. At that point it may be a different story when it comes to considering setting up a second production facility.” Today, Alfdex, which saw a turnover last year of around €30 million, has 100 employees. Over the next two years this will grow significantly, thanks to the new European legislation. “Last year, we celebrated the production of our one millionth separator,” he adds. “This is an exciting time for us and we are n ready for this next big step.”

STRENGTH IN DIVERSITY Despite these turbulent times, driver’s cab manufacturing firm Agrikon Kam Ltd in Kiskunmajsa, Hungary, has secured its leading position in the market by acquiring several new customers and extending its product range. As a result of its new projects, the company is experiencing dynamic development whilst making new investments. Edina Beale reports.


ver the past two years Agrikon Kam Ltd in Kiskunmajsa, south Hungary, has successfully diversified its product range by targeting customers in the construction industry. In addition to maintaining its long-term partnership with the leading combine harvester manufacturer, Claas, the Hungarian company

has acquired several new customers in the construction market. It now designs, develops and produces driver’s cabs for construction machines including road rollers, mini hydraulic shovels, loading vehicles on wheels, and manufactures welded parts for public service vehicles such as road sweepers.

Balanced portfolio New customers who are supplied with driver’s cabs include the German Hako, the American-German Terex company and the German firm Kramer. Whilst the main market remains Germany, Austria has provided a growing market in recent times: Agrikon Kam

now develops and produces cabs for mini hydraulic shovels for WackerNeuson and exports welded products to Liebherr, who will also require cabs from the company in the near future. In addition, the Russian and French markets have been maintained whilst increasing opportunities in the Czech Republic are being explored. “The new projects have allowed Agrikon Kam to develop a much more balanced, healthier portfolio. In general, they are not the high volume that we are used to, instead of 8-9000 units per year, they want about 500-3000 units. However, our new customers require us to provide a full service from the design stage to the development and manufacturing of products,” explains Mr Pál Velkey, general manager of Agrikon Kam Ltd. “As a result of this, our engineering department has developed dynamically; our team now consists

of more than 10 design engineers, and our tool making units are also being enhanced so that we are able to manufacture our own tools in house in order to carry out the production.” At present, the company, which was privatised by Hungarian private investors in 1993, employs 300 people. Last year the firm generated €23 million, and the company expects accelerated growth in the near future. “Since it takes about one or one and a half years to develop and test a prototype before starting the production process, the effects of these new projects will only be reflected in the turnover at the end of 2014.”

Rich in resources, free from banks Agrikon Kam exports nearly 80 per cent of its products, the remaining share is distributed to its long-term partner, the Hungarian subsidiary of the international

Claas to whom the company has been the exclusive supplier of driver’s cabs for combine harvesters since 1976. Currently only 65 per cent of the production capacities is utilised, so that Agrikon Kam is in a position to welcome new customers with large volume requests without the need of new investments. “There is no need to increase our capacities, as there is plenty of production space in our current plant that can be used. There are no real rivals in our region of Hungary, in machine making, so that high-quality staff are easily accessible for us,” says Mr Velkey. “Our focus is to meet the demands of new customers and to provide them with a fully complete technology.” Coating is one of the main aspects that is increasingly important; quality requirements are growing in this area. The company has recently extended its e-coating capacities and

invested in a technology to provide powder coating services for customers. Thanks to another important strategic investment, from the summer of 2013 it will increase the number of welding robots from 4 to 14. “We are no longer relying on the banks; we have paid off all our debts, which is a great advantage,” continues Mr Velkey. “We are now in a position to finance new investments from our own resources which provides us and our customers with security.”

Set for growth Agrikon Kam is in a fortunate position as there are no rivals in the cab manufacturing sector in Hungary, and the company is the largest and most experienced in this field in the whole of eastern and central Europe. Due to Hungary’s favourable geographic position, the company is able to offer com-

petitive prices to foreign customers. “The more efficient we are, the more competitive we will become for our customers in western Europe. Our aim is to continuously improve our technologies and later extend our capacities so that we become a competitive cab manufacturing company that exceeds all European requirements. “Next door to our existing plant we have more land where we can build new production facilities as and when we require them; our capabilities for growth are already in place. Our long-term goal is to utilise these resources. The owners of the company are happy with our current results; our financial independence is a vast and important achievement. However, our main advantage is our 35 years of industry experience. Our professional team of experts is our greatest n treasure,” concludes Mr Velkey. Industry Europe 145

COMPACTING SUCCESS Geesinknorba is Europe’s largest provider of refuse collection vehicles and waste compactors. Industry Europe looks at the activities of the company, such as its pioneering ‘plug-in’ electric vehicles.


rior to their merger a few years ago, Geesink and Norba had more than 300 years of experience in waste management expertise between them. Today they form a formidable team that combines unrivalled engineering know-how with the ability to develop the world’s most innovative waste management solutions. Geesinknorba is headquartered in the Netherlands and recently became part of the multinational Mutares AG industrial group. Geesinknorba offers a diverse range of refuse collection vehicles and advanced

waste compactors for country-specific markets. Its flexible RCV bodies come in different sizes to fit any manufacturer’s chassis and can operate with different bin-lifts, including third-party systems. Its European network of factories enables it to offer an exceptionally fast turn-round on orders. All Geesinknorba’s vehicle bodies are designed to be fully compatible with each other as well as with the chassis, bin-lifts and related products from other suppliers. The company provides the widest range of bodies in the waste management industry today and

its highly skilled engineering teams are able to tailor them to meet the individual needs of its customers. In keeping with its diverse vehicle body range, the company offers optional telemetrics and Geesinknorba lifting options that are available either integrated or stand-alone.

Delivering innovative, eco-friendly solutions Continuously at the forefront of waste management technology, Geesinknorba achieved another ‘first’ with its ‘plug-in’ electric vehicles when they were initially launched in

Sweden. Sales of this advanced eco-friendly range have surged since then and continuous development and operational refinements have kept the company ahead of any attempts by its competitors to adopt the same technology. Geesink’s plug-in vehicles are the world’s first to use electrical power to operate the energy-thirsty lifting, crushing compacting and tipping systems of refuse collection vehicles. These technologically advanced vehicles were developed with two main objectives in mind: to reduce both carbon emissions and the operating costs for operators by reducing overall energy bills. These special vehicles offer many additional environmental and operational benefits too, as a company representative explained, “Our range of ‘plug-in’ vehicles have become our flagship products. This hybrid unit offers significant fuel saving and noise reduction and is cleaner and greener in every respect compared to traditional

vehicles. In Paris, they have been a huge success with both operators and the general public alike as the driver can switch off the engine when collecting refuse at 5am, thereby avoiding waking local inhabitants. In fact, our ‘plug-in’ machines are virtually silent in operation. The same success has been repeated in Serano and Barcelona in Spain as well as with many other capital cities in Europe. “The operators also benefit from the availability of cheap, off-peak, night-time supplies of electricity for their vehicles, reducing still further their operating costs. Savings can be significant and as much as 35 per cent per year for an average-size vehicle. Most of our customers are either local government agencies or waste management contractors. Furthermore, our eco-friendly ‘multifraction’ vehicles are divided into four compartments which enables them to collect sorted waste products easily and

efficiently. This means that they can collect glass, plastic, paper and food waste during one tour and keep them sorted into their relevant compartments for processing.”

Technology that goes from strength to strength Geesinknorba is well known for its proactive stance when it comes to meeting new challenges posed by fast moving changes in the waste management market. The company has developed a number of ‘breakthrough’ products including an all new underground container system and a GEC vehicle that takes bulky waste and very large containers of up to 5m3. This makes it the world’s most efficient and flexible ‘multifractional unit’ vehicle on the market today. In March 2013 the company rolled out a new control system for its compact refuse collection vehicle series, the GPM Mini – ideal for waste collection in congested city centres.

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The Geesinknorba development team has upgraded the entire body plus lifting device with an advanced control system that operates and diagnoses all major components of the vehicle via an information display in the cab. Meanwhile new infrared sensors at the rave rail help minimise system malfunctions. In addition, the company has also developed and launched another technologically advanced product: the multi-functional Combi-spit Hoist. This unique hoist can operate in open back mode, in trade mode with two locked lifts, or in auto combi-split mode, and operators can switch between them in an instant. Yet its performance in any of these operational modes rivals that of any single-mode vehicle. Furthermore, in automatic split-mode it matches the lifting speeds of any single, dedicated split-lift. This advanced hoist is fully integrated with the Geesinknorba ‘A’ bodies, which makes for greater efficiency. What’s more, the latest design offers increased tipping angles for an n even cleaner bin discharge. For further information about Geesinknorba products, go to

LEADER IN SPECIALPURPOSE TRUCK BODIES IGLOOCAR Ltd of Poland is the leading manufacturer of specialist truck bodies for the transportation of various food products. The company delivers cooling, isothermal, refrigerated, wagon, drink carried and distribution bodies which can be mounted on all truck makes and chassis types, trailers and bodies. Piotr Sadowski revisits IGLOOCAR’s latest developments for Industry Europe.

150 Industry Europe


hen the company was last featured in this magazine, Krystyna Jaskowska, IGLOOCAR’s operational director and member of the board, pointed out that the producer still had spare manufacturing capacity and that the Polish market, the main distribution destination, was continuing to show strong demand for special purpose truck bodies. “Since then, IGLOOCAR has been developing at a steady pace, taking

advantage of the many opportunities on the domestic market,” remarks Ms Jaskowska. “Poland has not been directly hit by the recession, which has contributed to the good results achieved by IGLOOCAR at home, including maintaining a stable employment for 200 staff. The current annual level of sales is around PLN 43 million, equivalent to approximately €10.5 million, which is very satisfying. Our current manufacturing capac-

ity is being nearly fully utilised, but should we need to, it could be increased further by introducing a third daily production shift.”

A Polish company with a European outlook The focus on the distribution of products in the Polish market continues to be one of the driving forces for IGLOOCAR’s operations, but this is not to say that the company

Industry Europe 151

avoids cooperating with customers abroad. Ms Jaskowska reveals out that currently around 20 per cent of the overall production is already being exported – and this figure fluctuates depending on the demand situation for special-purpose truck bodies in Europe. The main foreign distribution markets are currently Ukraine and Denmark, with the Danish client subsequently distributing IGLOOCAR’s products across the whole of Scandinavia.

Some deliveries are also made to customers in the Baltic States and Germany. “Both in Poland and abroad, our customers, 80 per cent of whom are dealers of various chassis brands, can approach us with any type of production question relating to special purpose truck bodies,” she explains. “IGLOOCAR is proud of its flexibility and ability to adjust its manufacturing and deliver all types of solutions, for all makes of

trucks. Our products are designed by teams of experienced engineers in cooperation with leading university research institutes, as well as with reputable companies in Germany, Italy, France and other countries.” In every project undertaken by the company, the type, parameters and special truck completion are performed on the basis of individual needs and requirements of customers, in order to ensure that an optimal and fully satisfac-

EXTRAL 152 Industry Europe

EXTRAL company is a producer of extruded aluminium profiles. The extrusion plant offers the possibility of production of special aluminium profiles made according to client’s projects and also aluminium profiles which are generally offered. Apart from profiles production, additional services like anodizing, powder coating, fabrication and machining (precise cutting, punching, drilling, cutting, welding and bending) are available. Usage of new technologies and involvement of experienced employees guarantees a high quality of products, services and post cooperation with qualified service suppliers who guarantee a good quality thanks to possession of such certificates like Qualanod or Qualicoat. EXTRAL issue certificates conforming country of origin, chemical composition and mechanical parameters. The above guarantees a competent assistance and professional technical consultancy witch the priority being customer satisfaction.

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Inter-Car sp. z o.o. Inter-Car has been a successful partner to the transportation and marine market since 1998. We are a total solutions provider for the transport industry, giving added value to all our clients. The various complementary product ranges of Inter-Car meet the highest standards in the transport industry. We offer: • Light weight and low noise solutions (Dutch PIEK Standard) • A brand strategy • Innovation • Reliable partnership and worldwide knowledge • Superior, value-added products • Technical support and training for the end user • 24-hour delivery • Constant improvement in quality, production efficiency and service

EXTRAL company is a producer of extruded aluminium profiles. The extrusion plant offers the possibility of production of special aluminium profiles made according to client’s projects and also aluminium profiles which are generally offered. Apart from profiles production, additional services like anodizing, powder coating, fabrication and machining (precise cutting, punching, drilling, cutting, welding and bending) are available. Usage of new technologies and involvement of experienced employees guarantees a high quality of products, services and post cooperation with qualified service suppliers who guarantee a good quality thanks to possession of such certificates like Qualanod or Qualicoat. EXTRAL issue certificates conforming country of origin, chemical composition and mechanical parameters. The above guarantees a competent assistance and professional technical consultancy with the priority being customer satisfaction. Aluminium profiles and components Producer of aluminium profiles • Production of aluminium profiles • Anodizing

• Fabrication and machining • Powder coating

Inter-Car is one of the main partners of Igloocar. Extral Sp. z o.o. Tel.: +48 32 787 91 11

• ul. Wygoda 2, 44-240 Żory, Poland • E-mail:

tory solution is delivered for clients, a product which can be perfectly integrated into their own transport systems. Tradition, experience and reliability, confirmed by all relevant Polish and foreign regulatory certificates, including the certificate according the ATP agreement, make this company from Dębica a highly trustworthy partner for special truck bodies used for transporting foodstuffs, as well as other products which require stable and regulated temperatures in transit. The fact that all of IGLOOCAR’s special purpose truck bodies can be mounted on all brands and types of chassis, trailers and semi-trailers gives the company a very strong market advantage.

Diverse production and services Any client browsing through IGLOOCAR’s offer will be impressed by the wide range of solutions (which can be further adapted depending on individual needs and requirements), which include specialist refrigeration, isothermal and freezer truck bodies, in addition to truck bodies for the transportation of beverages, as well as other products for nontypical transportation needs. By far the largest 154 Industry Europe

share of the overall production concerns the manufacturing of insulated truck bodies, which guarantee to maintain a specific temperature of foodstuffs and other goods being transported. This is achieved independently of the outside weather conditions, which means that IGLOOCAR’s insulated truck bodies guarantee the same level of reliability (and temperature) whether transportation takes place in extreme summer or winter temperatures. As a specialist manufacturer, IGLOOCAR is also able to offer excellent services for different truck bodies. It has excellent access to original materials and parts, which in turn results in quick and high-quality repairs. In addition, the company is able to adjust the parameters of truck bodies to the new requirements of customers. “We can adapt transportation chambers, including installation of refrigeration or heating units, equipping them with shelves, partitions, hooks, windows and many other types of special equipment,” says Ms Jaskowska. “Our servicing department can also carry out all relevant repairs up to the highest standards required by our customers and their insurance companies.”

A caring company In addition to a modern and dynamic market player, IGLOOCAR is also a very socially responsible business, with a positive image and strong acceptance within the community of Dębica and its surrounding areas. “We really value, respect and invest in our employees,” says Ms Jaskowska. “Every person is employed on a permanent work contract, which in times of economic uncertainty is very important for our staff and their families. In addition, we have a robust and transparent bonus system, which covers both departments, as well as every single employee. We are proud to have a very dedicated crew, with a strong work ethic. We all work together to generate the best results, and our achievements are reflected in securing high places in various customer and market rankings. Our plan is to continue growing organically, as currently the market situation is such that there is not a strong case for pursuing acquisitions. However, should an opportunity for a favourable takeover of another company arise, we will be n ready for it.”

ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES Leading supplier of all-terrain vehicles Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug is well-known for its Pisten Bully snow grooming vehicle brand. Industry Europe looks at the latest from the company.


erman all-terrain vehicle manufacturer Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG was established in 1968 by the owner of Karl Kässbohrer Fahrzeugwerke, a leading company in the speciality vehicle industry, who decided to create a new type of oversnow vehicle for the grooming of ski slopes to add to its portfolio of buses and trailers. By 1969 the first snow vehicle had been built and sold, and by 1972 Kässbohrer was preparing the slopes for the Winter Olympics in Sapporo! A company representative told Industry Europe how the rapid development of the company and its leading brand continued from then on. “The success of our Pisten Bully brand has carried on in a manner that

we’re very proud of because we’ve built on the technological capabilities as well as our reputation for creating high-quality allterrain vehicles.”

Excellent reputation for quality By 1992, Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug added a beach cleaning machine to its offer. The company is widely known for its snow grooming vehicles, which are all built in Germany to very strict standards, so the intro-

duction of a new product helped to promote the brand in new industry sectors. The company experienced some financial difficulties in 1994, which led to a management buy-out. It is now an independent company, listed on the Stuttgart Stock Exchange, and acquired two smaller Finnish companies, Paana and Formatic in 2007 and 2008 respectively, creating a solid two-brand strategy of Formatic and Pisten Bully that has gained them considerable market share.

Unique solutions Pisten Bully is the leading brand of slope grooming vehicles, with Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug offering standard vehicles, winched models and park models that can be used for all sectors of modern slope grooming, from standard ski slopes to the steepest slopes, including the creation and maintenance of slopes for snowboarders. The company representative continued, “Our Pisten Bully 600 Polar is one of the most powerful machines in the market and the Pisten Bully Green Tech line has been adapted for alternative use such as harvesting silage, mowing and mulching duties right up to fish and shrimp farming. So you can see just how flexible our machines are, while still retaining that core quality of being built for hard work.” In 2011, the company introduced its unique Dual Fuel Concept. A world first, this is the first series-production snow groomer with a diesel-gas hybrid drive. With this solution pollutant emissions, particularly NOx and fine dust particles, are substantially reduced. And despite the mix of natural gas or biogas there is no difference in the drive behaviour and performance of the PistenBully 600 Dual Fuel Concept. A further breakthrough in sustainable vehicle technology – under the name GREEN

IQ – came in 2012 with the PistenBully E+ and the SNOWsat slope management system. The E+ is the first snow groomer with a diesel-electric drive working in the Alps. This engine technology consumes up to 20 per cent less fuel and emits less CO2.

Customer oriented The Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug production facilities and headquarters are located in Laupheim in the south of Germany close

to Ulm and Stuttgart. This region is highly regarded as Germany’s largest vehicle building and engineering centre, so the company is able to utilise the fact that many of its suppliers are based locally. This strategy is also reflected in its belief in staying close to the customer, too, with a strong sales operation, after-sales provision and technical support available to all. The company representative continued, “Our philosophy is that our customers

should be the focus of our efforts on every level. We try to make them feel as though they are part of the worldwide Pisten Bully family and I’m pleased to say that our customers really identify with the Pisten Bully brand. It’s not only a brand name for slope grooming vehicles – it’s come to mean that we’re a reliable partner, too.”

Great online presence This positive marketing strategy is also evident in Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug’s online presence. Its website is fresh and easy to navigate, with a lot of technical support available. The brand is also maximising its strong image by offering Pisten Bully merchandise as well as a facility to order spare parts online. Furthermore, a customer-focused magazine is also being published and delivered to over 13,000 people, with up-to-date product information, details of new product launches and the latest company news. With regards to the future, Kässbohrer is committed to maximising its potential in the growth sector of tourism by targeting expanding tourist areas in important markets, especially as it provides seasonal products for both summer and winter, making it a strong year-round business. n

OPTIMISING RELIABILITY IN DATA CENTRES WORLDWIDE GEA is active in six major market segments and, among others, the global technology leader in air treatment systems. Philip Yorke talked to Gert Bakkeren, the company’s director for product management for the air treatment systems, about GEA’s latest cutting-edge technology and dramatic growth in data centre environmental management.


EA is a global market leader and one of the world’s most successful technology groups with revenues exceeding €5.7 billion and employing more than 24,000 people worldwide. GEA is listed on the German MDAX stock index and the STOXX® Europe 600 Index. The diverse business activities of the GEA Group span six major areas of operation, ranging from Food Solutions, Farm Technologies and Heat Exchangers, to Mechanical Equipment, Process Engineering and Refrigeration Technologies. The Heat Exchanger segment of the GEA group offers one of the largest portfolios of products in its field worldwide, ranging from advanced plate-heat and air-cooled heat exchangers, to shell and tube products and air filter systems. In addition, the company produces wet cooling towers and dry cooling systems and synthetic fillings, as well as air treatment systems for a huge variety of industrial applications. The air treatment systems

cover occupational space systems, process air-conditioning and process filtration. The company’s motto ‘Engineering for a better world’ epitomises its commitment to providing innovative, sustainable solutions.

Pioneering sustainable technology GEA offers one of the most efficient and complete ranges of products and components for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. As a result, contractors, consultants and architects can rely on one single integrated partner for all their needs. Furthermore, the company’s products are fully compatible and designed to create the comfort desired with the highest economic efficiency. GEA’s latest close-control, MultiDENCO® units, precisely regulate computerroom conditions to +/- 1K and +/- 5 per cent relative humidity. These sophisticated systems are ideal for applications such as data-centres, precision temperature machine rooms, laboratories

and art museums, in fact wherever constant temperatures and relative humidity levels are required. Since all the units operate with extraordinary energy efficiency and under partial-load conditions, they are also perfect for operating as running-redundancy systems. Mr Bakkeren said, “While our primary product range is designed for occupied space, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and remains our biggest market sector, the rapid growth in global data centres represents a new and dynamic area of potential growth for us. Not many are aware that these data centres consume over 2 per cent of the world’s electricity needs with over 3.2 billion kW hours consumed annually. As the clear market leaders in air treatment units in the EMEA regions, and as major players in other world markets, we continue to invest heavily in R&D to stay ahead of the field and to be able to offer our customers a competitive edge with greater efficiency and sustainability.

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“We are proud of the many ground-breaking innovations that we have brought to the market over the years including EC fans and inverterdriven compressors as well as our latest Adiabatic DENCO® cooling systems, which are based on the principle that water removes heat from its surroundings as it evaporates. Furthermore, another market trend is that temperatures in the world’s data centres are continuing to rise. In response to this we have developed an even more efficient range of high-precision,

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climate control systems. Product intelligence is also an important feature of our latest products and a growing requirement, with monitoring and servicing schedules being linked directly to the internet. Mr Bakkeren added, “We see the three key pillars of our success as being: product leadership, close proximity to our customers and operational excellence and logistics. Today we are continuing to expand our global footprint for air treatment systems and

our focus is centred on Russia in the northern hemisphere and South America. We are already well-established both in China and in India where we are continuing to invest heavily in new plant and technology.”

Making a valuable contribution GEA’s DENCO® range of high-precision climate control systems satisfy the most stringent specifications relating to computer centres and telecommunications facilities.

Danfoss As a worldwide partner for the GEA-Group for decades, not only in the HVAC business, Danfoss Power Electronics is providing a package consisting of global availability of excellent products, service and support as well as application knowledge. Danfoss Variable Speed Drives and solutions are

These products make a valuable contribution to reliable operations and uninterrupted service availability. All climate control systems in the company’s DENCO® product portfolio are guaranteed to maintain predetermined temperatures and humidity levels in the world’s biggest, as well as the smallest data rooms, thereby preventing heat-related malfunctions and the premature ageing of hardware. The company’s DENCO® range of products is also providing unparalleled environmental control services in other industrial areas, such as those involved in nanotechnology, R&D and micro-chip production, as well as in diverse medical applications. GEA’s advanced air treatment systems support these wide-ranging global services and guide planners in engineering projects to obtain optimised climate control and routing. The company tests its own products at its comprehensive research facilities and measurement centres worldwide under realistic operational conditions. As a result GEA customers always receive technologically mature and tested products that have all been manufactured in accordance with n ISO 9001. For further details of GEA’s advanced high-tech heat exchanger products and services visit:

known for easy and quick commissioning and high reliability. Reduction of variants and outstanding efficiency are always within the focus. A good example is the new motormount FCM106, which is able to operateasynchronous and PM-motors of any vendor. Innovation has a name – Danfoss.



A national leader in heating, air-conditioning, plumbing and all relevant appliances and accessories, Watts Industries Italia S.r.l. operates according to the ‘Technology by Nature’ slogan, shared by the whole Watts Water Technologies Group. Barbara Rossi reports.

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atts Industries Italia, based in Biassono, in the Monza area, about 20 kilometres north-east of Milan, was established in 1993 and belongs to the Boston-headquartered Watts Water Technologies Group. In particular, it is part of Watts Industries Europe B.V. the European division of the organisation, which thanks to its extensive range of valves, units, controls and accessories, has achieved turnovers of more than €450 million in recent years. At European level, Watts Industries operates through 26 companies, 20 sales offices and 20 production sites – the latter are all ISO 9001 certified – employing more than 2000 people overall. Its products are subdivided into four main categories: room heating and coding; sanitary, water quality and distribution; drainage and piping systems; and other applications. Its secrets for success are continuously striving for technological and strategic innovation, quality optimisation, a focused distribution network, excellent customer service and a strict policy of employing local expertise and structuring divisions through-

out the geographical area that it covers, so as to offer a consistent local service to all its European customers. This is accompanied by a true commitment to the environment.

Keeping an eye on the environment Replicating the range, philosophy and success of the rest of the group, Watts Industries Italia, headed by MD Umberto Ferretti, contributes significantly to the European turnover figures and is responsible for North Africa and the Middle East, as well as for southern Europe. In line with the rest of the group, the company abides by strict environmental standards and, in fact, Watts Industries Italia produces many of the components used in solar pump units. Operating from three sites – located in Monza, Trento and near Ferrara – and employing 300 members of staff, the company supplies both wholesale distributors and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), offering a range of products rich in energy-saving devices. These include Domocal, a multifunction device, featuring 63 different models, covering every specifi-

cation and providing a high-capacity heat exchanger, Domo-compact, a pre-assembled temperature control, thermal energy meter and Francoil, an energy-saving valve for heating and air-conditioning systems; as well as heating systems featuring quickconnect one-piece fittings, zone control and heat metering. Some of the other products which contribute to the major role that the company plays in the sector, making it a real leader on the Italian heating, air-conditioning and plumbing market, are flush model manifolds, balancing valves billing systems and hydraulic backflow preventer units; as well as a new series of reliable performance products, such as digital and radio frequency thermostats, new concept thermal energy meters, components for solar systems, and a new domestic hot water distribution system. Specifically, recent products developed include the 26 LC low energy consumption electro-thermal actuators, available in a range of models, used for ON/OFF control of thermal output of heating and air-conditioning terminal units. There is also a low thermal

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With over 30 years of experience, T.F.C s.n.c is specialised in mechanical processing of customised components for third parties (brass, aluminium, adz, ecobrass, sp, A105N, awp, copper, bronze, castings). Thanks to the high level of technical efficiency, flexibility and reliability, in terms of fulfilling customers’ requirements with regard to delivery dates and service, T.F.C s.n.c has managed to retain numerous Italian and foreign customers over the years. We manufacture finished components for taps, valves, tubes, sleeves, meter bodies, manifolds, etc....moulded or die-casted, from 3MAs to 4 inches, with orders ranging from 50 to 100,000 pieces, thanks to our 13 transfer machines. Furthermore, we also offer finishing processes, such as deburring, nickeling, sandblasting, chrome plating, etc. All production process stages, from design evaluation to tools and then components manufacturing, as well as packaging and shipping, are carefully monitored by qualified staff. T.F.C. s.n.c. di Carini & Trappa Via Zanardelli, 173 – 25060 Marcheno (BS) – Italy Tel. +39 030/8960431 - Fax +39 030/8960423

inertia thermostatic valve, featuring a response time below 40 minutes. This simple automatic regulation device allows the user to set the desired temperature in individual rooms only using the strictly necessary energy, ensuring high environmental comfort, together with energy savings, thus complying with CEN EN 215/06 regulations. Alongside these, there is a wide range of programmable digital timers – Milux, Milux Star, Milux RF, Milux Star RF – for clever and flexible daily or weekly programming of heating and air conditioning, offering easy installation and usage and the CA405 series compact thermal energy measuring devices, which act as a real aid in terms of monitoring and control of heating consumption, in particular for centralised heating systems, as they can be easily installed in horizontal distribution systems, empowering and encouraging each household to monitor and regulate own usage. Last, but not least, there is the CAMICAL series of thermal energy measuring devices, featuring high quality and precision, which when used in conjunction with volume meters allows for a direct measuring system of thermal energy used in airconditioning with centralised heat generation. Recently the company has received an award from AVR (Associazione Italiana Costruttori Valvole e Rubinetterie – The Italian Association of Valve and Tap Manufacturers) for its long-standing loyalty, as Watts Industries Italia was one of the first companies to 164 Industry Europe

join the organisation. Another recognition recently received has been the Company Longevity Prize awarded to Watts Industries Italia by Confindustria Monza and Brianza, whose aims and projects the company has always shared. Watts Industries Italia quickly overcame the economic crisis of 2009, having restored pre-crisis volumes by 2011, thanks to a cost reduction strategy and an ability to respond to market changes. This endeavour was further aided by the pillars underpinning the company’s success, namely continuous invest-

ments in R&D – enabling the company to always fulfil the needs of the market – thanks to renewed and innovative products; an excellent and attentive customer service; and a name of the calibre of Watts, which thanks to its history is a guarantee of high quality and reliable products. Furthermore, in recent years, the company has improved its organisational processes, thanks to significant investments in terms of modernisation of production facilities, so as to improve the service quality offered to customers. n

A GLOBAL PARTNER 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.


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 everchanging 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 termi-

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nals. 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

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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. 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 Thailand 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.

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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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FAST TRACK ACROSS THE MEDITERRANEAN Grandi Navi Veloci is one of the main Italian shipping companies operating in the sector of goods and passenger transport in the Mediterranean.

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randi Navi Veloci celebrates this year 20 years of activity sailing in the Mediterranean Sea. The company was established in 1992 and the first ship, the m/s Majestic, was launched in 1993. During the last 20 years, the group has succeeded in adapting to the market’s needs and interpreting the demand to increase maritime links with North Africa. GNV adopted

a strategy based on the high quality of services provided and the reliability of its ferries and staff on board. The connections with Sardinia and Sicily, Maghreb and Spain are Grandi Navi Veloci’s core business. It operates the following lines: Genoa-Palermo, Civitavecchia-Termini Imerese, Civitavecchia-Palermo, Genoa-Porto Torres, Genoa-Tunis, Civitavecchia-Tunis,

Palermo-Tunis, Genoa-Tangiers, BarcelonaTangiers, Genoa-Barcelona, Sète-Tangiers, Sète-Nador.

Changes in Management and structure Grandi Navi Veloci has effected some changes in its financial structure during the last few years. In 2009, the Grimaldi family left the shareholding structure and management of Grandi

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Navi Veloci. The shareholding structure was split between Investitori Associati (67.1 per cent), IDeA Co-Investment Fund (20.1 per cent), Charme (9.2 per cent), management (2.1 per cent) and other shareholders (1.5 per cent). In 2010, Roberto Martinoli became CEO and Chairman of Grandi Navi Veloci. In 2012, the Shareholders’ Meeting decided to increase the equity to 30 million Euros. The Company is now owned by Marinvest (50 per cent), Associated Investors (43.40 per cent) IDeA Co-Investment Fund (3.66 per cent),

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Charme (1.83 per cent) and other shareholders (1.11 per cent). Moreover, on the 26th of May 2012, two new routes were inaugurated, in particular the maritime links between the French port of Sète and the Moroccan ports of Tangier and Nador.

A customer oriented group Grandi Navi Veloci ferries combine efficiency and high quality standards. GNV ships are equipped with advanced technology and high-level services, including car and domestic

animals transport as well as à la carte restaurants, coffee shops, shopping centres, discos, swimming pools, children’s rooms, games rooms, slot machines, conference centres and meeting rooms, chapels and libraries. Offering a quality service means placing the customer at the centre of company policy by paying careful attention to all aspects concerning technology, relations, organisation and image. These features have always made Grandi Navi Veloci a choice of distinction.

Investing in effective customer care is a key strategy for the Italian group, an investment that is especially oriented towards guaranteeing the highest possible level of safety for the passengers. In 2009 Grandi Navi Veloci renewed its certification in compliance with the new ISO 9001:2008 standards. The quality certification has been issued to the company uninterruptedly since 1997, on the basis of stringent three-year controls.

Certifications and awards Since 1998 Grandi Navi Veloci has consolidated the “Quality Project” at international level, also obtaining foreign accreditations: the German Deutscher Akkreditierungs Rat and the Spanish body Entidad Nacional de Acreditación. In May 2012, Grandi Navi Veloci received the Quality LRQA Italia Marine Award 2012 – Towards Sustainable Busi-

ness from Lloyd’s Register, for implementation of the procedures related to company quality ISO 9001. In June 2012, the company also received the OHSAS 18001 certification; it was the first Italian shipping company to receive certification for the level of health and safety in the workplace from LRQA, which the company is committed to carry out in all its structures, on n board and on land. Industry Europe 175


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With its long history, experience and readiness to face future challenges, Vyborg Shipyard remains a leader in the Russian shipbuilding industry with a global impact. Mr Alexander Solovyev, general director, unveils their current projects and future plans in an interview with Vanja Švačko.


eing one of the oldest industries in the world, shipbuilding is a seasoned survivor through the history of economic slumps. Nevertheless, it is an industry that has been severely hit by decreased demands on the market and production over-capacity. At the entrance of the Gulf of Finland in its north-west region Russia is one of the largest shipbuilding companies Vyborg Shipyard JSC, established in 1948. Although known for its reputation for early completion of many projects in the past, Vyborg Ship-

yard was severely affected by the deepening of the crisis to the point that its production came to a standstill.

Making headway In 2012, Vyborg Shipyard became a member of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), a Russian open joint stock company, whose main goal is to preserve, enhance and develop national potential in shipbuilding. “As a government corporation USC includes almost 90 per cent of similar compa-

nies in Russia,” explains Mr Solovyev, “which makes Vyborg Shipyard a state-owned company. But what distinguishes us from the other shipyards in Russia is the fact that we are not involved in military shipbuilding. The sphere of our interest is production of vessels for civilian and commercial shipping. This position within the USC is our biggest advantage because our commitment to the clients is not restricted by the terms and conditions of the military.” Membership in USC has paid off straight away. The company has received contracts

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for the construction of three icebreaking supply vessels, which was a return to its original business roots. “We have always been specialised in the construction of platform supply vessels of arctic class, supplier standby vessels etc.,” says Mr Solovyev. Today Vyborg Shipyard employs more than 1500 people who work on the construction of offshore oil and gas drilling platforms for the open seas and various kinds of vessels of deadweight tonnage up to 12,000 tonnes. “We are proud to be the most experienced Russian shipyard in offshore construction.

The latest proof is our cooperation with Samsung Heavy Industries in constructing offshore drilling platforms for Gasprom,” states Mr Solovyev. In the last 30 years, the company has worked on the modernisation of drilling platforms as well as pioneering state-of-theart features for the drilling devices. Apart from semi-submersible platforms, the company also builds jack-up drilling floating platforms that operate in the open seas. Additionally, Vyborg Shipyard performs repair and upgrade of these platforms and offers unique

modernisation services (lifting), requiring faultless calculations and performance. The company also produces steel, with an annual capacity of 20,000 tonnes, and aluminium alloys for shipbuilding. “Modernisation of our production facilities is pivotal for us. In 2010 we purchased modern painting chambers, the biggest in the north-west of Russia, for the large blocks up to 300 tonnes. We have also introduced a prefabrication line for the steel production,” says Mr Solovyev. The company has also finished construction of the new dock and barge that will eliminate restrictions of ship width and further enhance its independent production.

In the offing Vyborg Shipyard cooperates closely with the world leaders in the shipbuilding field. Its unique geographical location has defined its strong presence in the Scandinavian market. Despite the fact that the current crisis forces the company to concentrate on the domestic market (almost 90 per cent of orders are through government contracts), Vyborg Shipyard has no intentions of forgoing international markets. Instead it keeps close relationships with foreign partners and takes part in ongoing shipbuilding tenders. Parallel to this the company is planning to expand its icebreaking programme and expecting to get orders for up to five more icebreakers till 2020. Part of its two year plan is also to attract investment credits of Vnesheconombank, which would further allow investment of about RUB 2.5 million in modernisation of the shipyard. 178 Industry Europe

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“Today our production is back to normal thanks to the membership in USC, and our plan is to have a turnover of about RUB 7.5 billion,” explains Mr Solovyev. “However, due to the complicated economic situation in the global market, the idea that we are actively pursuing is to focus on modernisation of our own company. We know that our future growth will be based on improving what we already have, rather than on acquisition of the new businesses.” Those

improvements will include reconstruction of the environmental protection system, the result of which will be minimum harmful discharge. The company will invest RUB 100 million in this project. However, the environmental, health and safety program that the company has been implementing from the Soviet days was one of the first in Russia and is still highly effective. Vyborg Shipyard relies a great deal on building partnerships when it comes to shaping

its future. Part of the plan is to stay on track with well-known clients and partners such as Arctech Helsinki Shipyard and Samsung Heavy Industries. “The main offers to our clients are based on common projects with Korean shipyards. We are keeping very close connections with companies such as Gasprom and Rosneft, hoping to be involved in some of their n future projects,” adds Mr Solovyev. Visit: Industry Europe 179

Conquest Offshore BV is a Dutch joint venture between Concordia Offshore BV and Zwagerman Offshore Services BV. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at their pioneering project, the Conquest MB1.


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onquest Offshore BV is still a relatively young company but its floating crane barge Conquest MB 1 is already making waves. Jippes Huibregtse, project manager at the Dutch joint venture, said that the company is seeing significant interest in the Conquest MB1 project from offshore operators and marshalling yards, particularly those in the wind turbine industry. “There is a big market out there in logistics and installation work for the wind industry, as well as other marine work, which requires the sort of mobility and capacity we can offer. Offshore work is a global enterprise and we can foresee a time when we will look to more floating crane barges, which would be different classes, with different levels of lifting capacity. “This is exciting but we are looking to do it steadily. We have a saying here: ‘Big things happen in small steps’.”

A track record Conquest Offshore BV was formed by Concordia Offshore BV and Zwagerman Offshore Services BV for offshore transportation, removal, refurbishment and construction activities. Both companies have a

proven track record of success in the marine and offshore industry. With an extensive experience of more than 50 years, Zwagerman provides equipment and management for the offshore industry, ports and construction companies. The company offers a wide range of cranes, such as lattice and telescopic crawler cranes, mobile port handling cranes and floating (marine) cranes. The speciality of the organisation is the development of unique machines for demanding works. Zwagerman has successfully participated in the building of several crane-barges, pipelines and the salvage and clearing of shipwrecks.

Working together The Concordia Group is known to be an innovative and an open-minded partner in inland shipping, sea shipping and offshore. Its core business is the design of new seagoing vessels, as well as turnkey projects, completely managed by Concordia. Its expertise also lies in the building and rebuilding of pontoons, accommodation vessels, temporary living quarters and mobile offshore units.

“The main focus of the joint venture was to build Conquest MB1 and then to go with it out into the market,” explains Mr Huibregtse. “Concordia recently built the heavy duty flattop barge, completely ballastable and with 20 tons per m2 permissible deck pressure. “Zwagerman had developed a completely new concept of mobile offshore crane, the Spacelift MC 35000 DLS, which can be independently mounted on a barge, without further adjustments in the structure of the barge. Zwagerman just needed a base for the crane – and Concordia’s barge offered it. “Cranes of this size and standard tend to be used only on permanent platforms – but the minimum permissible deck pressure of the barge makes it suitable for placement on any location of a crane,” he says.

Capacity and mobility The idea, he explains, is that Conquest Offshore will rent out the newly developed barge, capitalising on the demand for large offshore barges with heavy lift crane capabilities. The Conquest MB1 is currently situated in Vlissingen (Flushing), Netherlands Industry Europe 181

and is available for charter to the company’s clients worldwide. The state-of-the-art crane barge has exceptional working characteristics and is equipped with an accurate and fully automated ballast and trim (anti-heeling) system. Its dimensions are 136m x 36m x 8m, it has a minimal deck pressure of 20 tonnes per m2 and a free deck space of 3700m2 for 9000 tons of cargo. The crane has a power of 2 x 1100 kW and has a specially designed dynamic load system (DLS). Four cylinders on the back of the crane are placed with bogies on an 18-metre diameter ring. The cylinders pull when a load is lifted and push when the crane is stationary to balance the counterweight. The capacity of the DLS is a maximum of 1400 tons and the counterweight is 450 tons. Together with the base structure of the crane this generates enough moment of force to complete heavy lifts. With the universal base and the heavy-duty double boom of 63–75m, the

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lifting capacity of the crane can reach up to 24,000 ton metre (tm), ideal for the installation of offshore wind foundations, and decommissioning or salvaging shipwrecks. The boom can easily be changed to a 97m or even 124m single boom. “The logistics required for installing a wind turbine, for example, are enormous and the current systems used are cumbersome, but for the Conquest MB1 they are ideal. It has the capacity required and the mobility – and it can work in harsh environments. By cooperating with us, customers will find installation is more efficient and therefore competitive.”

Looking ahead Conquest MB1 is currently based at Flushing, Netherlands and offshore lifting trials with cargo or supply vessel Abis Dublin have just been successfully completed. Deugro, Amasus Shipping and Conquest Offshore

have joined forces to perform feeder lifting trials, offshore from the Netherlands. Between them they have developed a plan for the installation of offshore wind park components. The unique approach of this plan is the use of Conquest MB1, which will stay on location and will do the actual installation work on site. “Flushing is the wind turbine capital of the world and so for now we will remain based there,” says Mr Huibregtse. “But we can see opportunities in places like China, India and West Africa in the future, which is why we will eventually think about other flattop crane barges. “We see potential in the oil and gas industry, and in decommissioning. We are already seeing huge interest in Conquest MB1, have a variety of works planned for 2013 and expect demand to be increased as such from 2014 onwards, so that we start building more floating crane barges.” n


Stena Line is one of the world’s largest and most successful ferry operators. Industry Europe looks at the company’s culture concerning safety and the environment and a philosophy that keeps it at the forefront of the ferry industry.


tena Line was established in 1939 in Gothenburg, Sweden, by Sten A Olsson who began by creating the metal trading company: Sten A Olssons Metallproduktor. Following several strategic mergers and some major acquisitions, including that of the UK operator, Sealink British Ferries, the company grew to become a major force in the ferry industry. In 2010, Stena Lines’ biggest reorganisation programme began with two brand-new Super-ferries going into service. The investment was the biggest to date in Stena Line’s history with a total of SEK 7 billion being invested in the

two new ferries and in the conversion of four of their sister ships. Today, the company operates 19 major ferry routes in Scandinavia and around the United Kingdom with connections between eight different countries. With its fleet of 35 modern vessels the company employs around 3000 people.

Innovation for a better world Stena’s vision for providing added value is that customers must have the best possible experience when they choose Stena Line for their travel, holidays, relaxation or freight

transport. The company’s focus is firmly on constantly improving its services by developing innovative products and services that optimise the travel experience for all. Traditionally the company has had a strong culture of innovation, with its own employees contributing thousands of ideas for every-day improvements, a great many of which have been adopted over the years. A recent example of Stena’s innovation at work is its introduction of the world’s first passenger ferry to be equipped with two wind turbines at the prow, which contribute by supplying energy and reducing fuel consump-

tion. The company’s modern ferry, the Stena Jutlandica forms part of its energy saving programme and is part of 200 such environmental improvement projects currently being adopted across the board by Stena Line. A company representative said, “Stena Line has the tradition of leading when it comes to the development of different types of new solutions. Adopting wind power on board our vessels is just one of our innovative ideas. The reduced air resistance at sea created by the turbines will result in a reduction in fuel consumption of between 80 and 90 tonnes per year per vessel. The

savings that the turbines contribute on the Jutlandica alone can be compared to the consumption of oil for heating 28 homes during one year.” Mr Akerlund added, “In addition, the two turbines will generate about 23,000kWh per year, equivalent to the domestic electricity consumption for four family homes in one year. Among other things, the additional electricity will be used to power the lighting on the Jutlandica’s car decks.” Stena Line’s operations in Scandinavia are already environmentally certified to ISO 14001. During recent years a significant num-

ber of environmental improvement measures have been implemented that have resulted in both lower energy and lower fuel consumption across a wide spectrum of operations. For many years now Stena Line has set itself stringent environmental goals which have resulted in the company’s commitment to the environment becoming prevalent in all areas of its operations. The company’s key objectives are to reduce energy consumption, reduce emissions into the atmosphere, reduce emissions into water and to increase the proportion of its waste sorted at source.

The Burke Shipping Group The Burke Shipping Group is an Irish owned Shipping and Logistics Company operating in Ireland since 1886. Owned & operated by the Doyle Family, the group has developed from its maritime roots and is now operating on a global platform, offering integrated shipping, logistics and maritime services. We are the market leader in Ireland, with offices in all the major ports including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Foynes, Waterford, Fenit and Belfast. Our global network which incorporates our office in China ensures we are well placed to service your worldwide shipping needs.

Investing in new routes and ships Recently Stena Lines was able to announce that it had been granted full clearance by the Competition Commission to proceed with the acquisition of the DFDS sea routes from Belfast to Liverpool and from Belfast to Heysham. This important acquisition, which amounts to an investment of more than £40 million, will enable Stena Line to improve its services on the Irish Sea by offering several different alternatives for transportation between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. At the same time, the acquisition will improve service and frequency for both passengers and freight. As part of the deal, Stena Line will also acquire four ships from DFDS which will include the chartered Lagan Seaways and Mersey Seaways on the Belfast–Liverpool

route and the freight carriers, Scotia Seaways and Hibernian Seaways. This will bring the number of Stena Line routes on the Irish Sea to six, thus adding to the existing Belfast– Stranraer, Dublin–Holyhead, Dun Laoghaire– Holyhead and Rosslare–Fishguard routes.

New concepts in safety at sea Safety is the prime concern for all ferry operators and provides the foundation for all subsequent operational activities. At Stena Line there is no ceiling for investment in safety and the company allocates resources proactively whenever the need arises. Among the countless Stena Line safety procedures to be upgraded recently, there has been a new development in the method of lifting life rafts. Thanks to this latest innovation, life rafts

can be lifted complete with the passengers on board onto a rescuing vessel in a single operation. Until now, those in distress have had to be winched aboard helicopters one person at a time. This latest development in safety improvement was the result of close collaboration with the Swedish Sea Rescue Society. This novel concept also uses the Swedish Sea Resue Society’s small rescue runner craft, which are designed to round-up the rafts and connect them to the assisting vessel. Stena Line also works to develop and improve the competence of its officers with training programmes held in association with the MRM (Marine Resource Management Institute) and the Chalmers University n of Technology.

EXPERTS IN TEMPERATURE TECHNOLOGY Based just outside Milan, CAP IT has a philosophy of continuous improvement, always striving to raise its standards and do better than competitors, thanks to its long experience in temperature management and control. Barbara Rossi speaks to Delilah Cappelletti.


AP IT was established in 1996 by Pietro Cappelletti with the involvement of his whole family and it is still characterised by an artisan spirit. Since its origins CAP IT has focused on producing customised products of extremely high quality, and this has been so central to its activity that even today most of its offer is composed of unique pieces. Delilah Cappelletti, daughter of the founder, has taken the reins since 2009, leading the company with the same enthusiasm and commitment as her father. She explains, “My father’s philosophy was that of being able to offer a service in any area in which there was the need for measuring temperature, of a solid, liquid or gaseous body”. 186 Industry Europe

The company’ s capabilities in temperature control and management range from measuring to heat producing products, and can be subdivided into three macro-areas: thermocouples and RTD temperature sensors, heating blankets and green building. Each of these areas has a wide range of products to serve the needs of the most diverse sectors – mainly food, textiles, industrial furnaces, heat treatment of metals, incinerators, water treatment, biomedical research, photovoltaic, civil defence/ fire service, automotive, marine, agriculture, wellness, veterinary medicine and construction. Although the company manufactures a whole range of products, its core business remains thermocouples and RTD tempera-

ture sensors, for temperatures ranging from –200˚C to over 1800˚C, also in high pressure and ATEX environments. All products are manufactured according to the client’s specifications and tailored to fulfil their needs. The most advanced construction techniques are used for their production and the use of magnesium oxide, platinum sensors, 316 stainless steel and high quality materials in general is favoured, all in compliance with all the main standards (ANSI, DIN, IEC, UNI, etc). The whole production cycle is managed by the procedures of the internal quality system, with total control of all processes. Despite the fact that CAP IT is a relatively small company, it has quite a few advantages,

such as being led by a dynamic team, whose common experience, passion and enthusiasm result in a 100 per cent made in Italy product, whose performance and reliability has allowed the company to acquire important clients. Among these there is CERN – the European Organisation for Nuclear Research – which uses CAP IT sensors in the largest particle accelerator in the world. This is particularly significant due to the complexity of this system and of the tests conducted inside it, meaning that the components employed cannot allow for defects. The CAP IT product has been considered the most suitable for this task. The last few years have also seen a particular focus on the development of temperature sensors for autoclave steam sterilisation. In this field, CAP IT has developed a product which, as well as being extremely quick and precise in measuring, also features a high degree of sturdiness

and resistance to the strains experienced in the autoclave (in terms of pressure, vacuum, humidity and temperature) thus offering an extremely high performance. This is important because, although on the surface temperature and pressure sensors may appear as being fairly insignificant in comparison to the complexity of the actual steriliser, they are key components for achieving good results. CAP IT also serves the steriliser sector in terms of calibration certificates, verification sensors and a total support client assistance service, for a range of customers spanning from artisan companies to the largest manufacturers. As well as these important achievements in heat measurement, CAP IT has been equally successful with its heating blankets, which have allowed the Milan based enterprise to work with clients of international calibre – including the Veneranda Fabbrica del

Duomo, for which it has supplied products used within Milan’s Duomo (cathedral) – as well as Avio Group, AgustaWestland, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare di Pisa (National Institute of Nuclear Physics), among others.

Crossing borders, but with traditional values Delilah Cappelletti further explains, “Our choice of only supplying high-quality products and services involves all of our company processes, not just those providing an interface with clients. Of critical importance are those connected with purchasing goods and services necessary to our work, therefore we dedicate particular attention to supplier selection, especially for those who have a real impact on our production, both in terms of raw materials and semi finished products, but also for the quality of the service offered and reliability over time.” Industry Europe 187

CEO Delilah Cappelletti

“In the immediate future we do not have any plans for expanding our production capacity, as we are already equipped with an area of 1000m2 in Rho, just outside Milan. This space is subdivided into 600m2 dedicated to production and 200m2 of offices, while the remainder is used for reception, warehousing and handling of goods. “Our production still retains the flavour of a typical artisan company, where human skills and experience are of key importance. However, our will to expand and grow also makes new investments in equipment and machinery necessary, so as to optimise some production processes and thus be more competitive, while maintaining our guarantee of the best possible product quality. This is the reason why this year and the next will be dedicated to a renewal of our production facilities.” 188 Industry Europe

In terms of markets, predominantly the CAP IT turnover is generated at national level; however, the company is further developing its presence in foreign countries - which today is still only marginal – first of all in Europe, especially in its eastern part. “From 2014 we will focus on more distant markets, such as Far Eastern countries – all the areas linked to petrochemical applications – and will also develop markets in areas of the former Soviet Union, Brazil and China, which are particularly interested in products coming from Europe, and Italy in particular. This internationalisation activity will require particular effort and commitment, especially to overcome the limits imposed by product certification and import barriers, which some of these countries have in place, but we believe that this is the best opportunity for development, in order to overcome the impasse of static European markets.”

Ms Cappelletti concludes, “We will be ready to face structural development both in terms of human resources and infrastructure, but we will not distance ourselves from our small artisan company model, where internal and external human relations have priority and where values, such as honesty, reliability and n solidarity are not forgotten.”

AED-Automation is a global leader in the development and manufacture of automated process solutions for the world’s forging and casting industries. Philip Yorke talked to Franz Neuner, the company’s international sales director about its latest high-pressure ‘inner-coating’ systems and its growing presence in the emerging economies.


ED Automation was founded in 1973 at a time when it was known as the Acheson Group, which was for many years the market leader in the area of graphite dispersions and graphite coating systems. The company’s extensive manufacturing plant at Dornstadt was built in 1973 by the Acheson Group and has since seen major investments to make it the leading, state-of-the-art facility in its market sector. After being acquired by the ICI Group in 1998 and subsequently by Henkel in 2008, the company returned to private ownership in 2010 when it was purchased by the

family-owned Wollin Group of Germany, thus bringing together almost 40 years of advanced automation technology.

Leading in automated process solutions AED Automation continues to set the industry standards when it comes to foundry and die-casting automation and in particular, the area of specialised cooling and lubrication processes. Perfect lubrication for casting or forging dies requires perfect application technology to optimise both the processes and a customer’s profits. This was the driving force behind the

construction of the original engineering site in Dornstadt in 1973, since which time the company has grown to become a global pioneer in precision spraying technology in this highly specialised market segment. Today, AED Automation offers a complete line-up of high-performance spraying systems, as well as lubricant mixing and dosing units, in addition to ground-breaking foundry automation solutions and services. AED Automation offers standardised as well as tailor-made casting-line solutions for its customers with an unparalleled range of linear, robotised and gantry solutions, all of

which can be adapted to suit almost every known casting process requirement. Mr Neuner said, “As a flexible, familyowned business, we take care of every aspect of our customers’ cooling and lubrication processes. We understand the needs of our customers and the daily challenges they face in today’s competitive marketplace. We like to think outside the box in order to provide smart, effective solutions that overcome complex production problems and to optimise our customers’ efficiency. We really take care of our customers’ requirements and offer a comprehensive range of

products and services. These do not end simply at the design and installation stage, but include cutting-edge solutions that are setting new standards in today’s ‘minimum quantity’ spraying technology requirements. We have also developed a unique system for inner-coating pipes and tubes as small as 3cm in diameter. This precision inner-coating technology is extremely accurate and will be launched in 2013.” Mr Neuner added, “We begin every project by understanding fully our customers’ needs and expectations and then we adapt our machinery and technology to create optimal

solutions for them. We don’t sell standard products but we do sell product platforms upon which we can build the perfect, tailormade ‘smart’ solutions for our customers. Today, we are able to offer the world’s most sophisticated and reliable technology and our customer-orientated approach guarantees the highest levels of service and efficiency. Recently we completed a major project in India, where we designed and installed an advanced 1000kg precision spraying system, as well as developing a complete range of automated spraying systems for our customers in Italy and China.

“We are a global supplier and as such are present wherever you find die-casting and forging on any scale. We are also fortunate in so far as our location is concerned, because being situated near Stuttgart, we are in an area where some of the world’s best and brightest design and engineering specialists can be found. This in turn means that we have the cream of the crop when it comes to employing the best-qualified and most motivated engineers. Whilst Europe and the USA remain our biggest markets, our growing presence in many of the world’s

emerging economies is providing the strongest growth opportunities for us for the foreseeable future.”

Fully integrated automation AED is dedicated to improving process cycle times, providing perfect lubrication solutions and guaranteeing reliability throughout its customers’ forging processes. AED’s forging experts create individual process solutions that are tailor-made to optimise value and provide optimal manufacturing performance. Today, the company is committed to an on-

going programme of continuous investment in technology and R&D, which is designed to improve overall productivity and performance and to offer a significant increase in the life of the dies in use. Its casting lines are also highly automated and offer the perfect opportunity for integration into a customer’s own improved production line capabilities. AED also recognises that forging lines are very individual concerns and that almost every line has its own unique features. The flexibility and creativity that exists within the extensive AED resource at Dornstadt offers

customers unique, tailor-made solutions that achieve the best possible outcomes. However, spraying technology remains the company’s core competence and AED has also extended its portfolio of advanced foundry automation equipment. Its external atomisation technology has proved to be the best solution for any number of diverse industrial applications. All AED systems work with low-pressure thresholds to achieve greater efficiency and to be able to offer the best cooling and coating performances available n on the market today.


DEVELOPMENT Just as in the past, the core business of IRO (Industrie Riunite Odolesi) SpA is still the production of reinforcing bars, but for some years now the company has started diversifying its activity, manufacturing niche products and billets. Barbara Rossi interviews Mr Carlo Leali, the company’s vice-president.


RO SpA has a 60-year history, having been established in Odolo (Brescia) in 1951, as a rolling mill for the production of reinforcing bars. The company further developed its activity over the years, with the installation in the 1960’s - of the first electric furnace for scrap melting and the introduction of one of the first continuous casting lines for billet manufacturing, followed in the 1970’s by the installation of a new rolling mill and a new continuous casting machine, always with the aim of

increasing production and improving product quality. In the 1990’s there was another quality leap, thanks to the inclusion of the Tempcore system, for product welding and ductility, into the manufacturing process; and to gaining the UNI EN ISO 9001 certification, in addition to which today the company has also achieved the UNI EN ISO 14001 environmental benchmark. Two years ago IRO, which currently has 215 employees and an annual turnover of about €200 million, made investments

totalling €12 million for the construction of a new continuous casting line, which has allowed it to widen the dimensional range of the billets that it manufactures, which can now reach maximum square section dimensions of 180x180mm. Moreover, thanks to this line, the company can manufacture quality steels, a sector which the company is trying to expand, to counterbalance the dip in demand for reinforcing bars, due to the crisis affecting the construction sector in Europe.

Following the diversification route Nowadays about 70–75 per cent of the company turnover derives from the sales of finished products, in other words bars. 80 per cent of this percentage is generated by reinforcing bars, which anyhow remain the company’s main activity. The remainder derives from the previously mentioned niche products – mainly in the form of smooth bars for various uses, mainly produced using highquality steel, according to the requirements of the final application for which they are meant. Smooth bars are supplied to a wider range of sectors, including the mechanics, prefabrication and moulding industries. “Our billets are a semi-product, not a finished product like bars. 25–30 per cent of our turnover

derives from these products, which are then transformed by other rolling mills or moulders. The type of steel employed in our billets varies according to the final application,” Mr Leali explains. IRO also owns an 80 per cent share of Nova PM Sider, a pre-forming company based in Bologna, engaged in customising, with tailored modifications, reinforcing bars so that these fulfil the design specifications of the architects in charge of the construction projects. “This is an activity which until 20–30 years ago companies used to carry out internally, but which in recent years, due to cost optimisation, has been outsourced. About 5 per cent of the reinforcing bars that we produce are for Nova PM Sider, while

the rest is sold to other processing plants which also carry out pre-forming. This is what happens in terms of the reinforcing bars that we sell in Italy. With regard to foreign sales, in particular those in nonEuropean countries, predominantly concentrated in Algeria, we supply large local distributors, which then resell our products. In terms of reinforcing bars, the export share has significantly increased in recent years; suffice to say that today it almost reaches 50 per cent, while 20 years ago it was about 15–20 per cent. This increase in the export share is mainly due to the crisis which has hit the construction sector in Europe, and particularly in Italy, causing a reduction of the volumes supplied to these

Sede Legale: Via Marzabotto n.3 - 25040 - Corte Franca (BS) Sede Commerciale: Via C. Battisti, 18 - 25040 - Corte Franca (BS) Phone: +39.030.8364280 | Fax: +39.030.9826242 | Email:

Carbosider is a slim, modern company, with strong roots in the metallurgical sector, with several years of experience in the supply of raw materials to steel plants and foundries, an area in which it has gained recognition for its reliability and competence. Always striving to achieve increasingly high product quality, Carbosider Srl has established close commercial and representative relationships with some important manufacturers of materials for the metallurgical industry, from which are sourced high quality products. The continuous search for technological improvement and service quality means that the company can avail itself of two warehouses where the various types of materials are stocked, so as to be able to offer fast and accurate deliveries to clients, who need high quality products to be delivered quickly. In order to fulfil customers’ needs, the company also has a plant for grinding and screening of ferroalloys, where it is able to achieve any requested granulometry and to produce any type of packaging (big bags, barrels), as well as various materials. In addition to the Italian market, where Carbosider Srl was born, the company has expanded its activity to other European, Asian and North-African countries, continuously widening its network of clients and becoming a reference point on the global market. The main products handled by the company are as follows: • Standard and noble ferroalloys • Metallic silicon • Recarburizers • Graphite electrodes • Refractors And other high-technology products for the metallurgical market.

For over thirty years our company has been engaged in pump maintenance and repairs and we have held the ISO 9001 System Quality certification since 2001. We are an authorised KSB, ABS, and Varisco workshop, but we do not limit ourselves to these brands, as we are able to repair pumps of practically all the brands available on the market. We also act as Danfoss Service providers for inverter repairs in Lombardy.

Meccanica Resinelli Srl has a consolidated experience as a mechanical processing workshop specialised in mechanical turning, milling, repairs, welding, assembly and carpentry. For years we have mainly been serving the metallurgic sector, manufacturing any type of components for steel plants, continuous casting and rolling mills. We process and carry out welding of any kind of materials, including copper, aluminium and stainless steel; and we also manufacture components for robotics and pliers for transfers. The staff is composed of personnel highly skilled in any kind of processing. Furthermore, within the company, there is a technical office which deals with design development with regard to two and three dimensional processing with CAD and CAM technology. In the last few years the company has invested in ultra-modern tool machines, with the purchasing of a 5-axis work centre able to perform any type of processing, even if complex.

In addition to our repairs activity, we carry out supply/installation of pumps, valves, inverters and all the hydraulic, electric and electronic equipment for fluid shut-off, measurement and treatment; as well as fire systems and connected maintenance/assistance. Acquatec Srl • Via Averolda 25, 25039 Travagilato (Brescia) - Italy Tel.: +39-030-662261/2 • Fax: +39-030-662263 • Email:

Via San Lino, 44 - 25071 AGNOSINE (BS) Phone/Fax: +39 0365 826022 • Mobile: +39 339 7515514 E-mail:

geographical areas. This reduction took place four or five years ago, while I would say that in the last two or three years volumes have stabilised. In this framework the level of overall product volume has remain unchanged, but the foreign market has acquired an increasingly greater importance and our international share has grown in comparison to the total.” Concluding our conversation, Mr Leali states, “Precisely the crisis of the construction sector in Europe, Italy included, which started a few years back, has made us take the decision to differentiate our activity both in terms of new geographical markets – as we did for reinforcing bars – and in terms of new market segments – which we have done with the development of quality steel production and with the widening of the dimensional range of the billets that we produce. Both smooth bars and billets will allow us to supply a wider range of industrial segments, which in future we would like to expand so as to also include the automotive sector. Our smooth bars are mainly sold in Italy. Our billets also mainly supply the national market. In terms of our

traditional product and core business, which is reinforcing bars, differentiation has mainly taken place in terms of new geographical markets. As already mentioned, Algeria is our main export market, thanks to the significant development of this country and the fact that other areas around the Mediterranean basin are experiencing particular political phases. Clearly, we are still exporting in Europe, to

places such as France, Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia and other nearby countries. We will continue our diversification process, and reinforcing bars will remain our main product. Geographically we are always looking for new markets which, due to the nature of reinforcing bars and to the bearing of transport costs on the final price of this product, must n be in areas close to us.”

198 Industry Europe



Bharat Forge Kilsta is part of one of the world’s leading forging groups. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at its role within the Bharat Forge group and its plans for significant growth.


Bharat Forge Kilsta in Sweden, the drive is on for an increase in output and significant growth by 2016. The managing director, Juho Nömm, says that the forging company is seeking new markets and is investing in its equipment at its operation in Sweden. “We have a strong market in Scandinavia and Europe and will not be seeking to go beyond that. We are part of a group that covers other regions and so we are very focused on where we already are geographically,” he says. “However, we are keen to move into new markets. Most of our customers are from the automotive industry and we feel that we are too reliant on it. It would therefore be sensible for us to look at moving into other areas. “We do have a plan to increase our output over the coming years. We are looking for organic growth and would like to expand by 30 per cent by 2016.”

A world leader Bharat Forge Kilsta AB is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Bharat Forge Ltd, the world’s largest full service supplier of forged engine and chassis components, non-automotive

components and systems. Headquartered in India, Bharat Forge Ltd has manufacturing operations across nine locations and six countries. Bharat Forge, which is part of the Kalyani Group (a US$ 2.5 billion conglomerate with a 10,000 global workforce) has manufacturing facilities spread across India, Europe and China. It manufactures a wide range of safety and critical components for the automotive and industrial sector and is a leading manufacturer of powertrain and chassis components with market leadership in all major markets. Bharat Forge’s customer base includes virtually every global automotive OEM and Tier one supplier, including the top five commercial and passenger vehicle manufacturers. Like Bharat Forge Kilsta, the group as a whole has embarked on an ambitious journey to redefine its already existing presence across several critical business verticals such as energy, oil and gas, aerospace, rail and marine, and other infrastructure-related businesses.

A specialist in Sweden “Bharat Forge Kilsta is the only Swedish company within the group. We work closely with other companies within the group, especially

CDP Bharat Forge, Germany,” Mr Nömm explains. “Being part of the largest forging group in the world does give us vital support.” Bharat Forge Kilsta itself has a long tradition in the business. Today it specialises in heavy crankshafts, front axle beams, steering knuckles and other steering components. Its forge is equipped with the latest technology, in both the forging presses and ancillary equipment, in order to meet the high demands of the automotive industry with regards to quality, tolerances, drafts and design. Among other equipment, it runs one of the most powerful and fully computerised forging presses in the world. This is used for the production of heavy diesel engine crankshafts and front axle beams for trucks and buses.

“We are currently making a large investment in this to upgrade it even further,” he says. “This coming summer we plan to replace the bed underneath it, as well as other parts. “This is an investment of approximately €7 million. It is part on an ongoing upgrading and investment programme in our equipment and it will see us improve our production efficiency and increase volumes. Work should be finished by the beginning of August.”

An exciting future The concept at Bharat Forge Kilsta is to cooperate closely with both customers and suppliers, he says. The aim is to find the best

solution, and product development is carried out with the involvement of all parties. “We use steel, and each and every product must be manufactured to the specified quality. The aim is always to develop our existing products, to reduce weight, for example,” he says. As Bharat Forge Kilsta seeks to move beyond its reliance on the automotive industry, it is also looking to develop relationships with other manufacturers, says Mr Nömm. The plan is to make the most of all opportunities. “We hope to move towards other industries, such as mining, for example, where the quality of products is essential.

“ We are working in a very demanding environment: automotive is a very demanding business and it is key that we and our suppliers always stay focused and stand on our toes! “We have a very good relationship with our suppliers and we always look for continuous improvements. Lean thinking, do it right from the beginning and try to do things better every day – these are the keys to our success. “It is also important that there is a win-win situation for both parties. Important values for us are quality, flexibility and profitability, in order to reinvest in the organisation to become even better. We are confident that we can achieve the growth we are seeking and we look forward to an exciting future.” n

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.

Industry Europe 201


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 model202 Industry Europe

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 sup-

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

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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

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

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 205

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 benefits, more value and, ultimately, increased success for its customers. Numerous SHW

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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 mill-

ing 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 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

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Installationen Anlagen und Steuerungsbau Richard-Wagner-Weg 16, 89542 Herbrechtingen Phone: +49 7324 919553 - Fax: +49 7324 981453 E-mail: 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.

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Danny Basic said, “What customers are more and more looking for is energy-efficient machines, and we sell those: 25 per cent less 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


IN GLASS MOULDS Omco is a global leader in the development and manufacture of tailor-made glass moulds for industry. Philip Yorke looks at the company’s latest achievements, its strategic investments and its move into new market sectors.


mco (Overmeyer Mould Corporation) was a major producer of glass moulds in the USA, when it decided to establish a division in Aalter, Belgium, in 1964 to strengthen its presence in the European market. Initially the company outsourced its requirements to third parties but by the early 1970s the demand for its products had increased to a point where it was necessary to establish its own foundry, and when the

Bekaert foundry in Hamme, Belgium came up for sale, Omco purchased it without delay. Difficult trading conditions in 1984 led to a management buy-out and from that time onward, Omco became a Belgian company. Following 20 years of consistent growth, Omco NV merged with BMT NV and subsequently became a publicly traded company. In the year 2000 a second foundry was acquired in Slovenia which was then Industry Europe 209

geared to produce industrial glass moulds for Croatia and Austria whilst the company’s main foundry in Hamme became increasingly focused on manufacturing moulds for customers outside of the group.

Five key steps to success Omco’s global success is built around five key steps: engineering, foundry, manufacturing, quality assurance and moulds. Each of these business units is supported by a multinational group of engineers who are available to service its customers worldwide. The company’s foundry division has strategically located facilities in Belgium and Slovenia from which it can

guarantee flexible supplies of high-quality cast iron and aluminium bronze castings. In addition, the company’s manufacturing group has been equipped with the latest state-of-the-art CNC and robotic machinery. These modern and comprehensive facilities mean that Omco is able to offer a diverse range of precision equipment and welding techniques that are able to meet any challenge and in turn offer significantly increased mould life. Omco offers products for the hollow glass industry based upon specially developed castings in both grey and nodular iron and aluminium bronze. Throughout its many facilities the company has established the required

level of expertise to enable it to manufacture any mould for any machine, whatever its shape or size. The company specialises in the production of glass moulds for a diverse range of industrial applications including food, beverages, spirits and pharmaceuticals. The company’s ongoing success is also enhanced by its highly specialised expertise in the manufacture of pieces with complex geometry, including core-intensive mould production techniques. Furthermore, Omco’s foundries offer aluminium bronze castings as well as machining, painting, galvanising, pressure testing and many other value-added customer services.

The fine quality of the metals used by the company is assured by ISO-TS standards certified by Lloyds. In a new move to provide better logistics support for its customers, Omco has recently invested in a variety of new logistics systems including a fully automated warehouse, which improves the efficiency and accessibility of its products which are primarily destined for the automotive markets worldwide.

Energy-efficient recyclable containers The increasing international pressure for greater sustainability has resulted in a surge in the demand for Omco’s glass products, which are 100 per cent recyclable. This has enabled the company to increase capacity at three of its main European facilities. What’s more, a recent joint venture with Hindustan National Glass of India has also added significantly to the company’s global manufacturing capability. The new company is operating under the name of Omco HNG Engineering Ltd, and this modern plant is equipped with the latest CNC machines and foundry equipment. In addition, the company has also made significant investments in new technology at its Romanian, Croatian and UK production

sites in order to meet the growing demand for energy-efficient, recyclable glass containers. As well as saving energy costs, Omco is also able to manufacture its precision moulds with unparalleled speed and efficiency. The company’s ‘Individual Sector’ (IS) is capable of producing more than 600 hollow glass products per minute from a single mould, and each mould has the ability to manufacture up to one million glass containers. Omco also applies a special nickel coating to protect the edges of each mould, thereby ensuring that there is no ‘break-away.

Market segment focus Omco has seen exceptional growth of more than 20 per cent per annum in the last few years, despite the global economic downturn. This has been attributed not to a major increase in volumes of products manufactured, but through achieving a better focus on serving its individual market sectors, which includes shorter, low and ultra-low series that employ more complex casting and special composite alloys. One of the company’s biggest market sectors is the automotive industry where the focus is on glass moulds and metal-based products. However, the company also deliv-

ers special alloys and castings tailored to satisfy the direct needs of key customers in other sectors of industry, such as agriculture, earthwork machinery, pumps and incinerators. Omco constantly looks to the world markets to identify new industry trends and consumer needs and it responds to these n with tailor-made, optimal solutions. For further details about Omco’s specialised range of foundry products and engineering services visit:



olar-Mohr was founded by Adolf Mohr in 1906 in Hofheim, near Frankfurt, Germany and began as a machine factory producing cutters for the furniture industry. A major milestone in the company’s history came when it began working in partnership with Heidelberg in 1949, which resulted in the formation of a mutual sales organisation that has systematically expanded over the years. Today the company remains an independent, family-owned business that specialises in the manufacture of high-speed cutters and peripherals for the graphics and paper converting industries. Polar-Mohr is the clear market leader as well as the technology leader in its field. Currently, the company employs over 500 people worldwide and in 2012 recorded sales of close to €100 million.

Pioneering new integrated systems Polar-Mohr continues to pioneer the concept of fully integrated systems and automated workflow for the post-press print industry. The company integrates work processes to enhance efficiency, minimise labour costs and maximise profits for printing companies and paper converters both large and small. Polar-Mohr offers a diverse product portfolio that ranges from high-speed cutting systems and jogging solutions to label and gripperloading systems. The company’s long-term commitment to investment in new products and innovative post-press solutions has resulted in the launch of its revolutionary Three-side Trimmer at DRUPA 2012. Known as the BC-330, this unique product made its offi-

Polar-Mohr is the global leader in the design and manufacture of integrated cutting and diecutting equipment and solutions. Philip Yorke talked to Dr Markus Rall, the company’s speaker of management board, about its latest innovative products and growing presence in Asia and South America.

cial trade debut at the international Hunkeler Innovation Event held in Lucerne, Switzerland in February this year. The robust, networkable one-knife trimmer automatically cuts perfect-bound or saddlestitched products, and takes book-body production to a new level of efficiency. In contrast to any three-knife trimmer it has no formatdependent plunger. Sizes ranging between DIN A6 and DIN A4 can be processed in succession without the need to convert the machine. This latest product from Polar-Mohr is operated using an ergonomically positioned 18.5” touchscreen display. The BC 330 has the option of a built-in barcode reader so that no programming is required by the operator. With the barcode the correct cutting programme is selected auto-

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matically and the machine adapts itself within seconds to the corresponding format. Dr Rall said, “All our products are designed to provide our customers with optimised systems that give them the competitive edge and enhance their efficiency and profitability. We develop and design all our own hardware and software in-house and guarantee quick turnaround times along with unparalleled reliability.

We are the clear technology leaders in our markets with a 50 per cent or more share of sales worldwide. We believe this is because we offer reasonable pricing structures and deliver the most reliable, glitch-free products on the market. What is more, we also guarantee the supply of replacement parts to models dating back 25 years. Furthermore, our spare parts service achieves next day deliveries for over 95

per cent of our consignments. We operate our spare parts warehouse facilities and services almost as a separate company and being located close to Frankfurt airport adds significantly to our logistics operations efficiency. Dr Rall added, “In 2006 we invested in new production facilities in China, near Shanghai. These are designed to serve not only the Chinese market but also other Asian and Pacific Rim countries. China is a big producer of print and this strategic move has helped us to offset the flat performance currently experienced in our EU markets. We are also increasing our presence in North America and other fast-growing markets in South America. In a separate strategic move we recently acquired a packaging machine company to accelerate our overall growth and to provide another income stream in a sector that is more buoyant and less prone to market fluctuations. Although we are consolidating our investments at the present time, we are still keeping the door open for other acquisitions should the right opportunity arise”.

Extending applications for high-speed cutting Traditionally, Polar-Mohr’s high-speed cutters have been designed to meet the specific demands of the global printing industry and

Eaton Polar-Mohr and Eaton have enjoyed a close, long-standing partnership that begins at the development stage of new Polar-Mohr machinery. In accordance with its Lean Solution philosophy, Eaton supplies, for example, preconfigured and fully-wired mechanical engineering solutions to the manufacturing facilities, thereby saving them considerable time and effort. The fact that both partners are global companies ensures efficient cooperation and easy access to all continents and enables Eaton to incorporate its products in accordance with the various global standards, such as those of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the Underwriters Laboratories/Canadian Standards Association (UL/CSA), and China Compulsory Certification (CCC). Eaton is a diversified power management company providing energy-efficient solutions that help its customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. A global technology leader, Eaton acquired Cooper Industries plc in November 2012. The 2012 revenue of the combined companies was $21.8 billion on a pro forma basis. Eaton has approximately 103,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit:

all over the world hundreds of thousands of Polar machines are busy cutting both printed and unprinted paper. However, all Polar-Mohr guillotines are also ideal for cutting a wide range of other materials, such as plasticised PVC, polyethylene, acetate film and plastic signs. This is in addition to wafers, plastic wraps aluminium foil rubber and even felt and fibreglass insulation materials. Polar-Mohr also enhances productivity through its ‘linked work sequences’ such as lifting, jogging, loading, unloading and gripper systems to automatically controlled processes.

Equipped with modular components, standalone machines can be upgraded to systems to provide optimised workflow to post-press operations. Furthermore POLAR offers pile turners to be used in printshops. Most cutters can be integrated into the digital production workflow by using P-Net. It starts with taking the digital sheet layout as ppf or jdf file from prepress into Compucut® to generate the cutting program outside the cutter. By this the makeready time at the cutter is down to almost zero. To further optimise the process loading of

any cutting program can be done by an barcode reader. And finally the communication of production data to a MIS-system. In 2000 POLAR started with its LabelSystems. The range starts with manual die-cutters in punch through and counter pressure principle and goes up to highly automatic in-line LabelSystems for the production of up to 1.2 n million labels an hour. For further information about the advanced integrated post-press solutions offered by Polar-Mohr visit:

When interviewed by Industry Europe a few years ago, Sofidel said that it intended to become the number-two producer in Europe for tissue-related products and this is indeed what it has done, as Barbara Rossi finds out.



he origins of the Sofidel Groupdate back to 1966, when the business was first established in the Lucca area of northern Tuscany (Porcari), where Sofidel’s headquarters still are. Diversification started in the 1980s, and 1987 was a landmark year, as it saw the launch of Sofidel’s flagship brand: Regina (Queen). Evolution did not stop here, as the company carried on with its growth, which has led to it becoming a group with 28 produc-

tion sites and 28 companies in 12 countries Italy, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Belgium, France, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Greece, Turkey and the USA. As well as being the second largest tissue-related producer in Europe, Sofidel ranks at number six worldwide. With its 4800 employees, it has achieved a consolidated turnover of approximately €1588 million. A major contributor to this growth has been Sofidel America, established with the acquisi-

tion of Cellynne, a tissue paper producer in the away-from-home and consumer sectors, headquartered in Haines City (Florida), and with another two US-based plants. This move has allowed Sofidel’s annual production capacity to rise over one million tonnes. Sofidel carries out an integrated cycle at its production sites, from tissue production to manufacturing processes, through to the finished product. This cycle starts with the Industry Europe 217

processing of raw materials into jumbo rolls (or paper reels) at the group’s paper mills, continuing with their transformation into finished products, which takes place at Sofidel’s converting plants. The products are then packaged and sold to clients, through the various distribution channels. Through this process the group generates four business lines: branded products, private labels, AFH (away-from-home tissues) and jumbo rolls. Through its own brands, Sofidel produces paper products for hygienic and domestic use, namely toilet paper, kitchen towel, napkins

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and handkerchiefs, starting with Regina, which today can be found in all leading markets; and then including Softis, a market leader for paper handkerchiefs in Germany and one of the leading brands in Austria; Soppalin and Le Trèfle, two traditional brands of tissue paper products in France; Onda and Volare in Romania; as well as Soft & Easy and Yumy, two smaller brands sold in Poland and Turkey. A similar range of consumer products is manufactured for large supermarket chains, which distribute them under their own private labels or under minor labels of the group:

Nicky, Valenty, Florex, Daily, Talent, Temis, Tyril and It’s Magic. These minor labels are usually provided pending the introduction of the supermarket’s own labels. In order to be close to these customers and offer them an excellent and creative service, Sofidel has created a network of plants in the different countries in which the group operates.

Not just at home As well as its consumer market business, Sofidel is now also present and growing in the professional market, in which it aims to

arrive at positioning itself in a similar ranking to that obtained for consumer products. Its AFH range comprises tissue-related products for hotels, restaurants, the cleaning sector, service stations and government bodies. The range includes extra-large rolls of tissue paper, sheets of paper for medical use, folded paper towels, jumbo-sized toilet rolls, interleaved toilet paper and facial tissues. This range of innovative and quality products stands out for its hygienic and environmental performance and is commercialised under the Papernet brand, which offers three different colour-coded quality levels: standard (grey), special (light blue) and superior (blue), to effectively fulfil different needs. The fourth business line is that of jumbo rolls (or paper reels), which are semi-finished products sold for finishing by third parties, used by both Italian and foreign companies that specialise in converting, but which do not produce their own paper. The Sofidel group has a clear commitment to corporate social responsibility, proven by the certifications and accreditations held, which include ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001:2007, as well as by its code of ethics, sustainability and equal opportunities charters, sustainable development plan and, most of all, its daily practice, which

includes a total commitment to health and safety in work practices. In fact, Sofidel’s reputation is that of being the most aware company in the sector in terms of environmental friendliness. It has, indeed, been the first company in the tissue related market, not only in Italy, but at worldwide level, to have subscribed to the WWF’s ‘International Climate Savers’ programme. To date the group has invested more than €25 million to achieve the target set in conjunction with WWF of cutting Sofidel’s carbon dioxide emissions by 26 per cent by 2020. Recently Sofidel has also obtained the highest ‘Clean Production’ score in the tissue paper category of WWF’s Environmental Paper Company Index, thanks to the reduced environmental impact of its manufacturing processes, which guarantee the protection of forests, reduced water consumption and lowered CO2 emissions. The group, which is also a member of the Fondazione Sodalitas, a foundation active in Italy in promoting corporate social responsibility and dialogue between businesses and not-for-profit organisations, has also taken part, as in previous years, in the 2013 Earth Hour. Alongside having launched Le Trèfle Maxi Feuille in France, a type of toilet paper

characterised by the wideness of its sheets, the Sofidel Group has very recently acquired several well-known consumer brands in Europe, namely Thirst Pockets, Kitten Soft, Inversoft and Nouvelle, prominent on the toilet paper and household towel markets in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and the licensing for marketing other important brands – Lotus and Lotus Moltonel – in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This has been possible thanks to the acquisition from SCA of the former Georgia-Pacific businesses, also encompassing the Horwich plant (a converting plant) in the UK, located between Liverpool and Manchester. This is another move forward in the group’s international growth strategy, further strengthening its presence in the countries where these newly acquired brands are commercialised in very significant volumes. n

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SERVING THE PLASTICS INDUSTRY The Baerlocher group is a leading provider of additives for the plastics industry, offering a wide range of additives for all PVC applications. Industry Europe looks at the reasons behind its success.


he Baerlocher group has made a name for itself for products which include a broad range of stabilisers based on CaZn, CaOrg, Pb, BaZn and Sn, as well as other additives for all PVC applications. It supplies what are known as ‘one-packs’ under the brand name Baeropan®. These are customised additive formulations meeting the needs of a special application, developed together with the customer using Baerlocher know-how. Other Baerlocher products established in the marketplace are Baerostab® (diverse stabiliser systems), Baeropol® (additive sys-

tems for polyolefins), Baerolub® (lubricants), Baerocid® (fatty acids), as well as Ceasit and Zincum (metal stearates). Baerlocher has 13 production sites around the world and employs some 1200 people. Research and development are carried out in Germany (Munich-Unterschleissheim), France (Marseilles), Italy (Lodi), the USA (Dover, Ohio) and India (Mumbai). The group has a sales network that covers all major countries. “As well as addressing the changes required by legislation, the industry also faces challenges when it comes to raw

materials,” said a company representatve. “The situation here is critical. Over the last years, raw materials prices have increased significantly. In particular, the price of lead has increased and is expected to remain at a high level.”

Investing in Asia In 2008, Baerlocher Malaysia started up a new production unit for vegetable-based calcium and zinc-stearate in Seremban, Malaysia. With this investment, Baerlocher addressed the significantly growing demand for these products from the

polymer industry in South East Asia and the Middle East. Baerlocher has also been expanding its production capacity for lead-based stabilisers in flake form in Dewas, India, to meet the increased demand of the fast-growing

PVC industry in the country, and as China has become the largest market for PVC, Baerlocher is in the process of establishing a production base there. Customers in China are currently supplied from its plant in Malaysia. In November 2012, Baerlocher established an additional production plant in Changzhou, China. The plant can reach up to a capacity of 40,000 tonnes per year and will produce Ca-based and Pb-based stabiliser systems. The operation is supported by a state-of-the-art application laboratory.

Russian presence Baerlocher is now present in most major markets worldwide, and runs production plants in 11 of them. To support the fastgrowing Russian market, the company runs a representative office in Moscow.

“This strong global presence is the basis for a close relationship with our customers worldwide and for a short and flexible supply chain,” said the company representative. “As the majority of our products are tailor-made, having manufacturing capabilities in all major markets allows us to respond rapidly to the needs of the individual customers.”

Carefully selected components Baerlocher’s calcium-based stabilisers are broadly accepted stabiliser systems for the production of cables, pipes and fittings as well as profiles made out of PVC. In several markets and applications, Ca-based stabilisers have become the product of choice. Baerlocher’s products consist of carefully selected components to ensure sustainability with regard to REACH and other directives, proprietary technology with reduced

dependency on critical raw materials as well as the advantageous melt products marketed as Baeropan SMS and Baeropan TX with better handling, dosage and processing characteristics. Baerlocher was one of the first suppliers worldwide to offer calcium-based solid stabilisers for rigid calendered, extruded and blown films. The Baerostab NT 352 series is an alternative to existing stabiliser systems with a focus on odourless applications.

Developing the ranges New liquid mixed metal products were developed to comply with the current status of directives like REACH. These products will be continuously optimised according to customer needs and can be used for all Plastisol applications as well as for calendering and extruding plasticised PVC.

Furthermore, Baerlocher has addressed the increasing global demand for methyl-tin with Baerostab MTS 1200. This type of stabiliser is widely used by the building industry in rigid applications, such as calendered films, pipes, injection moulding and sheets. Owing to its high tin content this liquid methyl-tin mercaptide is a very efficient stabiliser. Baerostab MTS 1200 is suitable for the stabilisation of transparent and pigmented rigid PVC formulations, offers good early colour as well as colour hold and is approved for food contact applications in various countries. It also has hydrophobic characteristics. Another extension of the product line is epoxidised soya-bean oil, globally marketed under the brand name Baerostab LSA. Based on its extensive knowledge on stearates and lubricants, Baerlocher has also

developed a complete range of lubricant one-packs for most wood–plastic composite applications. The Baerolub W-series provides higher throughput and surface quality, enhanced strength and flexural properties as n well as reduced water absorption.

THE PURSUIT OF THE PERFECT PLASTIC FILM The RENOLIT Group is an international leader in the manufacture of high-quality plastic films and related products for technical applications. Its commitment to the continuous development of film technology has made it one of the most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany.


the 67 years since Renolit was established in the German city of Worms in 1946 this independent family-owned business has been setting benchmarks for quality and innovation. It now employs a workforce of approximately 4500 at more than 30 production sites and sales entities on four continents. With its worldwide distribution network, RENOLIT is a global player in the film industry. Specialized know-how for manufacturing RENOLIT film products is concentrated in every plant. Manufacturing to international standards guarantees consistently high product quality at all locations. RENOLIT thermoplastic films provide furniture, building components and consumer elec-

tronics with a decorative surface finish; they also seal roofs and underground structures and line swimming pools. The company produces films and tubes for medical applications and recyclable composite panels incorporating natural fibres for the building sector and automotive industry. RENOLIT film is also used as a key material for office management supplies, in the interiors of vehicles, in self-adhesive products for the graphic design and labelling industry and in technical products. The RENOLIT brand stands for unequalled technical expertise and advanced product design as well as a mutually beneficial service with application engineering consulting. All production is carried out with state-of-the-art

machines and the latest process technologies, backed up by a sophisticated quality control system.

Maintaining the momentum Renolit is well aware that these days the innovative momentum of a company largely decides its long-term success. Becoming and remaining a market and innovative leader like RENOLIT requires a constant willingness to innovate. This includes the willingness to permanently embrace new technologies which precursor technology advances in the whole industry. However, innovations are never an end in themselves for RENOLIT. The focus is always

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on customer benefit and the added value generated by these developments. Ultimately, RENOLIT products and the technologies used must satisfy the demands of society and do justice to the interest of the environment. According to the German all-industry company ranking “Top 100”, RENOLIT is among the 100 most innovative medium-sized companies. A think-tank like RENOLIT HORIZON along with the knowledge platform RENOpedia and an intensive idea management which draws on the latest methods are the basis for the permanent development of new ideas. The innovative momentum of RENOLIT is also highlighted by advanced services such

as Colour Road, an innovative colour and design trend service which RENOLIT offers its customers.

Material of the month A good example of this continuing innovation is RENOLIT GORCELL, a lightweight, resistant, easy-to-process, cost-competitive and recyclable material that is being used in an increasing number of sectors, as interior trimming, wall cladding, furniture or flooring. The numerous positive characteristics of RENOLIT GORCELL have now been discovered by Material ConneXion Cologne. The Colognebased material reference library has presented

the composite from RENOLIT with the first Material of the Month Award 2013. Karsten Bleymehl, Director Library & Materials Research at Material ConneXion Cologne, was impressed by RENOLIT GORCELL: “The novel technology enables the customer-specific, energy and resourceefficient manufacture of lightweight honeycomb cores and sheet stocks which can be fully recycled (mono-material). Subsequent thermoforming of the composite opens up a multitude of new application opportunities.” RENOLIT GORCELL is a combination of RENOLIT composites and an ultra-light honeycomb core. These honeycomb structures

are very strong and also waterproof. Customers then use thermoforming processes to manufacture complex elements which are both lightweight and resistant. By combining it with non-wovens, anti-scratch films, various fibres or decorative RENOLIT films, RENOLIT GORCELL is highly versatile and offers completely new design opportunities for constructional elements. Furthermore, such components can be cost-effectively manufactured and later fully recycled.

Environmental responsibility As a leading international manufacturer of high-quality plastic films and products and as a major employer in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan region, RENOLIT is aware of its

responsibilities for the environment, society and its own employees. RENOLIT puts these responsibilities into practice with active participation in industry and regional initiatives as well as with in-house initiatives to maintain its competitiveness. Examples of these include VinylPlus, a sustainability initiative by the PVC industry, a working group “PVC und Umwelt e.V. (AgPU)” an initiative whose objective is combining the interests of PVC and environmental protection and the association “Zukunft Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar e.V.” which aims to develop the quality of life and the economic strength of the region VinylPlus, the European PVC industry sustainable development programme, had a record 362,076 tonnes of PVC recycled

last year, keeping it on track to meet the challenge of recycling 800,000 tonnes per year by 2020. Innovative technologies to recycle difficultto-treat PVC waste are under currently evaluation and significant efforts have been made to address the ‘legacy additives’ issue related to the presence of restricted chemicals in recycled PVC. In 2012, VinylPlus registered a decrease of 76.37 per cent in lead stabiliser consumption in the EU-27 compared to 2007 levels, well on track to complete the substitution by the end of 2015. These and more results of 2012 were presented at the Vinyl Sustainability Forum n 2013 in Istanbul.

DENTAL POTENTIAL Global leader in dental consumables COLTENE, currently in a transition phase, is committed to its highperforming product range while staying focused on the future requirements of developing markets. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the marketing director, Joerg Weis, to find out more.


a Swiss public company with a long history in leading the dental consumables and small equipment market, Coltene has been the leading developer and manufacturer of high precision impression materials and filling materials since 1963, with the company celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. Following a series of mergers and acquisitions including, in 1990, that of American company Whaledent Inc., a specialist in products and technologies such as root canal posts and table-top ultrasonic equipment, the company became COLTENE AG. Today, COLTENE operates state-of-theart production facilities in Switzerland, the USA, Germany and Hungary, with all its sites operating as “technical centres of competence for manufacturing”. Marketing director Joerg Weis told Industry Europe how these sites are imperative to the company’s ongoing success: “We are able to develop and produce high quality, market-led dental products and small equipment at our sites across the world, and it is this capability that supports our reputation for excellence.”

Time for transition COLTENE’s strong reputation is a key part of its success too. The company is currently going through a strategic transition phase and it appreciates that it must protect the areas where it best performs, while looking forward to a commercially viable future. Mr Weis continued, “We are working on a consolidated strategy that is best for how we can and will work in the future. We can see how the dental market is changing, particularly in our active areas in Europe and the USA, and we are keen to ensure that we are well-positioned to maintain our positive results.” COLTENE’s strategy primarily lies in focusing on three core product segments – Endodontics, Restorations and Treatment Auxiliaries. Endodontics refers to all root canal and related products and technologies and the company has over a century of experience in this field, providing essential and reliable endodontic materials. Its range includes root canal instruments and rinsing solutions, filling materials and root canal posts, all of which are clinically proven products that ensure successful endodontic therapy.

COLTENE’s Restorations segment is closely connected to its adhesives portfolio and includes a comprehensive range of essential and innovative restoration materials such as its Synergy D6 and Miris2 brands, which are known for combining aesthetics and clinically proven performance. The Treatment Auxiliaries segment sees all the products and small equipment that make daily work in a dental practice easier and more efficient. COLTENE’s range in this area includes Roeko Luna cotton rolls, Surgitip aspirator tips and a complete range of Dental Dam products. There is also a fourth core product segment that is expected to continue to play an important role in COLTENE’s consolidation – its ‘traditional pillar’ of Impression Materials. Mr Weis explained, “The three areas of Endodontics, Restorations and Treatment Auxiliaries are where COLTENE has best performed in recent years but each area is also expected to continue to perform well in the future, in the global territories where we expect to gain. The fourth area of Prosthetics and Impression Materials sits well alongside other areas of our business that offers sup-

Industry Europe 229

port and practical products to our customers, so we do not intend to cut this out of our portfolio, particularly for existing customers.”

Global push He continued, “Our main global push in this consolidation transition phase is Endodontics and Restorations as this is where we see the most potential and where we have an unrivalled experience and expertise. In the past, the fact that we have a product portfolio of more than 18,000 items has made it difficult to keep focused. We’ve decided to change that, to focus on our

core product segments and to make sure that we offer our customers exactly what they need and nothing they don’t need. We’re offering a clarity that is good for us all and will enable us to really focus on Endodontics and Restorations.” Part of this focus strategy is the investment aspect of COLTENE ‘s research and development programme. With such a large product portfolio, the company has decided to condense its investment mainly into its core segments. Mr Weis added, “Endodontics and Restorations are both one of the most important consumable markets, with

growth rates above market trend. For us to maintain our hold and our reputation for excellence, we must continue to offer innovative products and solutions for our existing customers and potential customers.” The revised COLTENE strategy taking into account the latest market developments will fully exploit and leverage the group’s expertise by strengthening and expanding the distribution networks in the traditional European and North American markets.The company will continue to offer “everything from A to Z needed for dental treatment” while it implements its future n strategy for success in new markets.

Industry Europe 231



SSH Stainless a.s. is a highly specialised manufacturer of stainless steel hydraulic cylinders, valves and hand-operated pumps. Abigail Saltmarsh reports on the operation. 232 Industry Europe


SH Stainless a.s. may be a niche manufacturer of highly specialist products but, says the general manager Torben Madsen, the company is well-positioned for further growth. The company is known for its range of high-quality stainless steel components and is now looking to broaden its customer base and to reach into new markets. “We are in a very stable position and have seen steady growth of around 10 to 15 per cent year on year,” says Mr Madsen. “Our products are niche, so in some ways there are limits to our growth possibilities.

“Our aim, therefore, is to find new customers and markets for the products we are already known for.”

Across the world The company, established by Mr Madsen Sr and now run by Torben Madsen and brother Jens Madsen, began operating in 1989. From its base in Denmark, the relatively small operation now serves customers across the world. It attributes its international success to its continuous focus on product and manufacturing optimisation, as well as its commitment to quality and craftmanship.

Industry Europe 233

“Our direct customers are mainly based in European countries (approximately 90 per cent) but we do have a growing number in the North American market as well now. Mexico is up and coming as a potential market too,” he says. “France and Spain are countries that we are particularly targeting at the moment as we are expanding our distribution network there.” He adds: “Although we manufacture in Denmark and send out to some of these countries, our components actually end up further afield – 234 Industry Europe

in Asia and Africa, for example. They go to our customers who use them in the products they then go on to ship abroad.”

New designs and products SSH Stainless’s main products are stainless steel cylinders, for water and oil hydraulic use, as well as valves and hand or foot operated pumps. “Even though we have a standard series of different types of hydraulic cylinders, we do come up with special designs to fit in with

our customers’ requirements. The majority of our development efforts go into meeting these particular needs,” says Mr Madsen. The most recent completely new product is a combined foot-operated pump and hydraulic cylinder. This is typically used for height adjustment of personal platforms within the food processing industry. “The FPC-250 foot pump cylinder unit has become quite popular as you have one unit replacing a system with various hydraulic components,” he adds. “This is our own

design, and when our customers saw it they approached us about adapting it for their own needs.”

Green solutions The company’s products are sold to customers manufacturing equipment for a wide range of industries. “Much of our equipment goes to those producing food processing machinery (some 50 to 60 per cent), including the likes of abattoir and food storage equipment for lifting or moving heavy meat, or fish factories

that are offshore,” he says. “Then we also have the marine uses – again sometimes for the offshore industry, often for various sorts of remotely operated vehicles – and then there are the green industries, where hydraulics are used in outdoor situations and they cannot risk an oil spillage. All our products can be operated with water instead of oil.”

Continued growth While there are long-term plans for investment in and expansion of the company’s

facilities, the Danish plant has adequate capacity for meeting existing demand. Investment in tooling, however, is ongoing. Mr Madsen adds: “We are keen to continue maintaining this steady growth. We are known in the food processing industry for products that are low maintenance and have high ‘cleanability’ and we are also renowned for our flexibility and our ability to respond to our customers’ needs. “We always keep an open mind to any new ideas and solutions – and our aim is to n continue to do so.”

Industry Europe 235

150 YEARS OF STEEL INNOVATION Industeel Benelux is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Arcelor Mittal Group and is a global leader in the manufacture of special alloyed steel plates for a diverse range of applications. Philip Yorke talked to David Farias, the company’s commercial director, about its latest R&D successes and move into new market sectors.

236 Industry Europe


ndusteel Benelux has a rich history as a pioneer in the development and manufacture of high quality alloyed steel plates for strategically important markets. These include such major industries as oil & gas, nuclear, cryogenic, shipping and construction. The company was founded in 1863 in Charleroi, Belgium, and this year celebrates 150 years of innovative steel production, thus making it one of the world’s oldest and most successful steel-making companies.

Industeel comprises three main production sites: Charleroi in Belgium and Le Creusot and Chateauneuf in France. As the world’s leading speciality steel plate producer, Industeel puts innovation at the heart of its operations and through its world-class R&D centre in Le Creusot, France, has been responsible for many of the ground-breaking innovations in operation across the world today. Industeel became a fully integrated part of the Arcelor Mittal Group in 2006 and its 2300 employees are responsible for the

manufacture of more than 330,000 tons of special steel plate products per year. The company operates over 40 sales offices worldwide and in 2012 recorded sales of more than €940 million.

Clear R&D focus driving sales Much of Industeel’s success is attributed to its life-long commitment to the development of innovative products. It is also a result of its strategic targeting of small niche markets for alloyed plates, which include cryogenic

steel, mould steel, alloyed heavy pressure steels, jack-up rig legs and alloyed abrasion steel products. The company also differentiates itself from its competitors in a number of ways and this includes the development of up to seven new products per year. This is in addition to meeting the most challenging, complex metallurgy specifications and homologations for the nuclear power industry. What is more, it also provides product prefabrication services and long-term price fixing arrangements for

Industry Europe 237

its customers. Industeel protects its market position by avoiding volume orientated, price sensitive markets and it refrains from getting involved in mass product markets with their attendant negative margins. Farias said, “We only serve markets that require tailor-made, high quality, high-end steel products for high-tech applications. Our major growth industries include the offshore oil, gas and mining sectors. We are currently developing entirely new speciality steel plates that can meet the challenges of severe arctic weather as more and more oil and gas exploration is focused in these inhospitable regions. Arctic regions require higher strength compositions that can operate at very low temperatures as well as very high pressures, as the depths involved are far greater than in other regions. We are unique in that we do not specialise in the manufacture of just one or two types of steel; in fact we produce an infinite variety of steel products. In this respect we not only have one or two competitors, but many across the globe. “In addition to huge investments in our R&D programmes, we have also invested heavily in a new medium-grade production line and in

a new shot-blasting line. The combined investment amounted to more than €29 million. Currently our main growth driver is the energy sector which represents over 60 per cent of our sales. Export sales continue to grow with demand for our products in Brazil being enhanced for drilling operations that reach depths of over 2000 metres. Farias added, “We work very closely with our customers to achieve optimum outcomes for them and are constantly trying to improve the inherent qualities of our steels. A good recent case history is that of a challenge presented to us by BMW to create an injection mould that was capable of producing 600,000 moulds with zero defects. We are also improving our valueadded services, so in addition to forming, cutting and welding, we also provide new internet links that enable our customers to trace the progress of their products in real time. In this day and age where short lead times are standard, good communications become even more important.” Some recent examples of special solutions developed by Industeel include weldable supermartenstic steels for offshore applica-

tions known as ‘Supermax’ and a complete family of duplex stainless steels offering strength, corrosion resistance and other special properties. This is in addition to a range of new high-strength steels for hydrogen applications and special mould steels that combine hardness, machinability, weldability and excellent surface finish.

Broad technical support In keeping with its dedicated customer orientation, Industeel provides extensive technical support and advice for its clients. The company offers advanced technical assistance to help its customers take full advantage of selecting the right product from a broad range of Industeel grades, through product optimisation and application engineering expertise. In addition Industeel offers testing for corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance, pressure vessels and tool steels. The company also provides a unique ‘CalRes’ tool which offers life-cycle cost calculation software for storage tanks. n For further information about Industeel’s unique range of steel products and services visit:

ADVERTISERSINDEX A Acota Limited Acquatec Srl Akplas Akzo Nobel Coatings Ltd Alfred Schnuttgen GmbH Alumeco Sverige AB Arsopi SA Atotech Deutschland GmbH

H P 120 P 196 P 27 P 120 P 30 P 46 P 81 P 103

B Bitzer Bonar Building Insulation Burke Shipping Group

Outside back P 63 P 179 P 185

C C.S. Centro Serigrafico Srl Carbonex Sp z.o.o. Carbosider Carmeuse SA CEG Elettronica Industriale SpA Chevron Oronite SAS Clariant Produkte GmbH Codan Rubber Danmark AS Con Mech Engineers Ltd Contargo Copal Sp z.o.o. Cowi AB

P 161 P 32 P 88 P 152 P 32 P 59 Inside back

E Eaton Electric GmbH EFA Experts GmbH EPD Ltd Eriks bv EsonPac Sweden AB Espenes AS Extral Sp z.o.o.

P P 193 P 50 P 226 P 148 P 35

I IEM Fordertechnik GmbH Imball Center Srl Imbema Rhiwa BV Instytut Nawozow Sztucznych Instytut Tele-i Radiotechniczny Inter-car Sp z.o.o. Interpar Otomotiv San ve Tic AS

P 136 P 218 P 148 P 75 P 84 P 153 P 39

J P 197 P 84 P 196 P 71 P 205 P 131 P 223 P 35 P 123 P 167 P 47 Inside front

D Danfoss Decoleta a.s. Defendi Italy Srl Dhollandia Dimontonate Floccati SpA Donaldson DSM Food Specialties

Henschke GmbH Hero-Glas Heubach GmbH HMK Bilcon AS Hoffmann Mineral GmbH

P 215 P 227 P 170 P 148 P 138 P 116 P 153

Jaeren Overflatebehandling AS Jotun Paints Ltd JTK Power

P 116 P 121 P 132

K KBR Holdings Kettlitz-Chemie GmbH & Co. KG Kobra Forme AS Konepaja Hakkinen Oy

P 77 P 32 P 67 P 133

L Lackfabrik Karl Rusche GmbH & Co. KG Leeds Bronze Engineering Ltd Liljenberg AB Luehr Filter GmbH & Co. KG Luhn & Pulvermacher – Dittmann & Neuhaus GmbH

P 144 P 120 P 47 P 113 P 157

R Rittal GmbH & Co. KG Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG Rotima AG RZ ZamPart AB

P 216 P 98 P 107 P 200

S S.I.P. Srl Salzgitter Maschinenbau AG Serge Ferrari SFS Intec AG SGL Group SSH Stainless a.s. Steerprop Ltd Sterling Machining Ltd Straalbedrijf Westerhoff Summitglow Ltd

P 91 P 99 P 55 P 230 P 238 P 235 P 179 P 120 P 148 P 120

T T.F.C. Snc Technical Cranes Limited ThyssenKrupp Trans Lex Work Kft

Maschio Pack GmbH Meccanica Resinelli Metallfabriken Evo AB Metalplast-Kalisz Sp z.o.o. Monmoth Scientific Limited MTTG Ltd

P 71 P 196 P 142 P 84 P 120 P 120

P 164 P 120 P 74 P 77

N National Instruments Italy Srl Norcem AS Norwegian Seals AS Nyli Kvalitets & Kontrollteknik AB

U Unionkabel Sp z.o.o.

P 84

V Vapor-Tek Ltd Vilpros Pramone UAB

P 121 P 67

W P 203 P 66 P 116 P 142

Wattex NV Wolfgang Häckel, Elektro

P 63 P 208

Y Yeong Chin Machinery Industries Co. Ltd

P 215 P 175 P 182

P 43 P 84 P 46 P 47 P 67 P 211 P 111 P 94 P 127 P 193


G GFC AntriebsSysteme GmbH GMG Srl Groenendijk & Soetermeer

Palram Industries Ltd Pkimsa Carboautomatyka SA Plastinject AB Plastunion AB Plewa Schornstein Heizsysteme GmBH PMDS Polystal Composites GmbH Preci-Dip SA Prolan Zrt PTM – Prazisions-Technik Mayer GmbH

P 38

O Offsetdruckerei Schwarzach GmbH

P 230

Z Z.P. Bohamet S.J.

P 84

Articles inside

The pursuit of the perfect plastic film

pages 226-229

Dental potential COLTENE

pages 230-233

Experts in stainless hydraulics SSH Stainless

pages 234-237

Serving the plastics industry Baerlocher Group

pages 222-225

On target for growth Sofidel

pages 219-221

Optimising post-print efficiency Polar-Mohr

pages 214-218

Unrivalled expertise in glass moulds Omco

pages 211-213

Long-term solutions SHW Werkzeugmaschinen

pages 208-210

Danieli Automation SpA: Quantity, quality

pages 203-207

Driving into new markets Bharat Forge Kilsta

pages 200-202

All-round quality development IRO

pages 196-199

Developing high-performance process solutions AED Automation

pages 192-195

Experts in temperature technology CAP IT

pages 188-191

Harnessing wind power Stena Line

pages 185-187

Marine mobility Conquest Offshore

pages 182-184

Offshore innovation Bourbon

pages 170-173

Sailing out of troubled waters Vyborg Shipyard

pages 178-181

Fast track across the Mediterranean

pages 174-177

A global partner APL

pages 167-169

All-terrain vehicles Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug

pages 157-159

Optimising reliability in data centres worldwide GEA

pages 160-163

Advancing water technology Watts Industries Italia

pages 164-166

Making a marketing masterpiece ABSOLUT

pages 139-141

Strength in diversity Agrikon Kam

pages 145-147

Compacting success Geesinknorba

pages 148-151

Clean and green Alfdex

pages 142-144

Combined strengths Standardkessel

pages 136-138

On a new track MVM OVIT

pages 126-129

Specialists in sound ASK

pages 110-113

Maximising energy potential OMV Group

pages 130-133

Sound solutions Phonak Communications

pages 106-109

Pride in every move Aarbakke

pages 116-119

Efficient and flexible power solutions Wärtsilä

pages 134-135

Energy-efficient boilers Aalborg Energie Technik

pages 114-115

Pressurised perfection Chesterfield Special Cylinders

pages 120-125

Total system solutions Aselsan

pages 98-101

Making contact Preci-Dip

pages 94-97

Global leaders in PCBs AT&S

pages 102-105

Pioneering progressive LED lighting technology Philips

pages 91-93

A pioneer in kitchen appliances MORA MORAVIA

pages 88-90

The right chemistry Perstorp

pages 80-83

Comprehensive solutions for the mining and gas industries Elektrometal

pages 84-87

Investing to meet growing demand

pages 74-79

Building strength Weber Norway

pages 66-69

Enhancing the genius of nature Galactic

pages 70-73

Advanced roofing technology Icopal

pages 62-65

World class construction machinery Hidromek

pages 58-61

Delivering innovative sun protection systems Harol

pages 54-57

Opening doors to new markets Royal Boon Edam

pages 50-53

Top of the range in functional design Mont Blanc

pages 46-49

Safety first with KASIGLAS® KASIGLAS®

pages 42-45

Safety first Britax Römer

pages 30-32

Innovative systems for a global market

pages 33-37

Breaking through the economic gloom Hüner Kriko

pages 38-41

Finding new markets Assan Hanil Otomotiv

pages 26-29

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

pages 22-23

Rail news The latest from the industry

pages 11-13

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19

Docklands Light Railway, from ugly duckling to

pages 14-15

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20

Bill Jamieson A convergence of the wrong sort

page 6

Industry people Appointments

page 21

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17

Japanese seek a slice of growing

pages 8-10
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